$5 for an Instant Coffee? – Starbucks Via on the way

This morning I read over at The Moderate Voice that Starbucks is looking to introduce instant coffee.

from The Moderate Voice

That via @Tim O’Reilly. Andrew Sullivan points out that “Starbucks is so desperate they’re introducing instant coffee.” Paul Constant thinks that product is diluting the brand, “Sanka you very much, Starbucks.” Spokesman Vivek Varma said the new coffee, called Via, will “absolutely replicate the taste of Starbucks coffee,” and that it is a “transformational product.”

With Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds raking in the dough from customers who are no longer willing to pay $5 for a coffee, I can see the rational behind Starbucks’ choice. That doesn’t mean it is a good decision. Supposedly the product, Via, will taste the same as Starbucks’ fresh brewed coffee. You take the packet of instant coffee, three for $2.95, and empty it into a cup of hot water.

As an avid coffee drinker, far too enthusiastic my wife tells me, I can tell you that is in now way the same as a brewed cup. The flavor will not be as complex for bold, for those who like strong coffee. There is also something to be said about the experience of a coffee shop. The shiny machines, the smells, the sounds, that’s what people are paying for. People who don’t care about those things will just got to Dunkin of McDonalds anyway. Via wont lure any customers from them. Pike Place didn’t save Starbucks and this wont either.

So if the first sign of the Apocalypse is seeing two Starbucks across the street from eachother, what can this mean?

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One Response

  1. I am concerned about Starbuck’s strong-arm tactics and the scripted “conversations” used on customers to sell the new product. They show a rather sad view of the customer (as well as other people). I strongly recommend the following blog’s post: http://deligentia.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/starbucks/

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