Hoping to perk up an already growing interest in specialty coffees, Starbucks Coffee Co. plans to offer selections of whole bean and ground coffees in California and other West Coast supermarket chains as soon as today.
Starbucks is shipping five varieties--house blend, decaf house blend, Colombia, espresso roast and French roast--to supermarkets and Costco stores in 10 Western and Midwestern states. Starbucks is also introducing a blend called LightNote that will be sold in supermarkets only. Albertson's, Lucky, Ralphs and Vons will retail the coffee in Southern California.
"The main drive is that a lot of our customers came in and asked for it" to be sold at stores, said Jim Alling, Starbucks senior vice president of groceries.
He said Starbucks does not anticipate losing foot traffic in the company's own stores.
"For consistent customers, it's convenient," he said. For those who have not tried Starbucks' coffees, this will introduce them to what Starbucks offers, Alling said.
The prices for coffees at the supermarkets will be consistent with prices at Starbucks, Alling said. The only difference will be the sizes.
The coffees, packed in 12-ounce bags available for $7.49 for regular and $7.79 for decaffeinated, will join other Starbucks products on the shelves, such as the bottled Frappuccino coffee drink produced jointly with Pepsi-Cola Co. and Starbucks ice cream, produced jointly with Dreyer's Eddy's Grand ice creams.