Starbucks is adding four flavors to its Via instant coffee portfolio — vanilla, mocha, caramel and cinnamon spice — beginning this fall.
Via launched about a year ago with two black-coffee flavors: Italian roast and Colombia. The company has since added decaffeinated and iced coffee versions. Starbucks is new to flavored coffee, having launched Natural Fusions, its first flavored coffees earlier this summer.
“When we looked at what our consumers were drinking outside our stores in terms of brewed coffee, we knew they were consuming flavored coffee and that was a place we didn’t play,” said Aimee Johnson, vice president of strategic coffee initiatives at Starbucks. “But there weren’t any natural flavored products.”
Despite a near omnipresence in America’s urban areas, Starbucks has a surprisingly small piece of the brewed coffee market at just about 5 percent.
The company estimates that 60 percent of its customers drink coffee with flavor, and until recently, that meant they had to drink another brand. When Starbucks asked their existing customers if they’d drink a flavored product if they made one, 75 percent of them said yes.
“It’s a sizable opportunity for us,” Johnson said. “We feel it’s going to be very incremental to the business.”