Starbucks yesterday announced plans to launch its first bottled cold-brew coffee. The news was revealed as part of the company’s 24th Annual Meeting of Shareholders, and ends months of speculation about Starbucks’ intention to compete in the fast-growing segment of ready-to-drink (RTD) cold brew.
The new product will debut this summer and is an extension of the North American Coffee Partnership, a joint venture between Starbucks and PepsiCo to produce and distribute bottled coffee drinks, including Frappuccino and Doubleshot. Starbucks, which dominates the RTD coffee category with an estimated 97 percent market share, will initiate the rollout at select company-owned cafes nationwide and select grocery stores regionally in Western Washington, Western Oregon and Denver.
The coffee is made with “a premium blend of Latin American and African coffee beans, created specially to be brewed cold,” and is the same blend that Starbucks uses to produce cold brew iced coffee at its retail stores, according to the company. Packaged in a 9.5 oz. glass bottle, Starbucks describes the beverage as “a delicious, unsweetened coffee with a smooth taste and subtle chocolate notes.” It will have a suggested retail price of $3.29 per bottle.