UK Taste Challenge to let coffee drinkers decide for themselves

Following a successful pilot in a select number of London stores, Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew is now available to buy across the UK.  This is an opportunity for all of the nation’s coffee drinkers to experience this ground-breaking high quality coffee, made in an instant.

Designed for drinking at work and at home, or when a Starbucks store simply isn’t nearby, sales of Starbucks VIA™ far exceeded expectations during the 32 store trial and proved a hit with thousands of coffee lovers.

* Sales of VIA™ exceeded expectations by 25 per cent during the year-long UK trial with most customers moving from buying three-packs to 12 packs during the period1.
* In June 2009, an independent review by Which? said that Starbucks VIA™ is ‘better than your average cup of instant’2.
* A successful trial with easyJet led to a decision being taken in January  to offer Starbucks VIA™ on all easyJet routes.
* It was voted “Most Innovative New Product” by Allegra Strategies in May 20093.

The rich and full-bodied flavour of Starbucks VIA™ is achieved through a truly innovative method that transforms the same high quality arabica beans used in all Starbucks coffee, and ethically sourced from the top 3% of the world’s coffee supply, into a great combination of instant and microground coffee.  This unique, patent pending process took over 20 years to perfect, and gives Starbucks VIA™ its excellent full-bodied flavour and preserves its rich aroma.

Information from a number of focus groups conducted by Starbucks indicates that when people try VIA™ they’re surprised by how good it tastes; in fact the majority thought it was very good or excellent4.

Darcy Willson-Rymer, Starbucks UK and Ireland managing director comments: “Starbucks VIA is the first innovation in the instant coffee category in decades. It’s a huge step up in quality and aroma. Sales from our London trial far exceeded expectations. Starbucks VIA meets a need for customers who don’t won’t to compromise on taste just because they’re on the go or in a hurry.”

Alan Hartney, Starbucks Coffee Master comments:  “For more than 20 years, we have been looking for a way to guarantee Starbucks coffee quality and taste in an instant format and now we believe we’ve cracked the code.  I’ve been running taste tests with customers and most can’t tell the difference between our filter coffee and Starbucks VIA – that’s why we have the confidence to ask as many people as possible to come and try for themselves.”

About Starbucks VIATM Ready Brew

Starbucks VIA™ is made with 100% natural roasted coffee, and tastes like a cup of freshly filtered Starbucks coffee.  Starbucks VIA™ is created using a unique, innovative (U.S. patent pending) process.  This transforms the same high quality arabica beans used in all Starbucks coffee into a great instant coffee combined with microground coffee; giving it that same rich and full-bodied flavour customers expect from Starbucks filtered coffee.  Starbucks VIA™ is a premium product and through it Starbucks is creating a new market for coffee lovers who can now enjoy a quality cup of coffee anywhere, anytime – at home, at the office, or on the go.

There are two blends of Starbucks VIATM portioned into single-serve packets – medium, smooth Colombia and full-bodied, bold Italian Roast.   Just add hot water to a cup, which brews the coffee in an instant.  For three months VIATM will be sold at the introductory price £1.20 (30p off) for a three pack. A 12 pack is £4.45, but those taking the in-store Taste Challenge will get a £1 off voucher.

To discover more about Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew, please visit

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