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$1 Instant Coffee to Go

Starbucks Via Ready Brew Launches In Purse-Sized Packs

— February 17, 2009 — Lifestyle
Instant Starbucks coffee for $1? Is this news for real? The Starbucks Via Ready Brew is the latest attempt from the coffee chain to offer something a little more compassionate for consumers with fraying wallets.

"Starbucks now hopes that Via will expand its reach in the $17 billion global coffee market by appealing to travellers, campers, home coffee brewers and other coffee lovers who have their coffee outside one of the company's 12,000 global cafes," Reuters reports.

Sure, the Starbucks Via Ready Brew only costs a buck a cup, but if Starbucks is going to cheap out and opt to serve instant java for a budget-friendly quick fix, they may as well partner with the local gas station; it'd probably be faster and make reaching their new target demographic more efficient.

However, Starbucks seems to be onto something; I was baffled to find out that 81 % of coffee sales in the UK consist of instant coffee!

Perhaps it's not fair to judge so quickly; the $1 Starbucks Via Ready Brew instant coffee hits stores next month and will be sold in trio packs of single-serve joe for US $2.95 and dozen-packs for $9.95.

In all honesty, I'll probably be toting this instant Starbucks mix in my own purse on plane rides, crappy breakfast restaurants or when I visit relatives who have long lost their own tastebuds.

"The coffee consumption landscape is ripe for disruption," Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz said in a statement. "This is a big move for us - an opportunity to reinvent a category, create new rituals and grow our customer base."

How will Starbucks fair against the new McDonald's ventures with their espresso-drink serving McCafes? Starbucks was inching forward in the books of the health-conscious by offering nutritious breakfast alternatives like oatmeal, but rumor has it, McCafe may begin offering steel-cut oatmeal themselves.

Brace yourself for the biggest commercial coffee battle you've likely ever seen.