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Starbucks to offer decaf instant Via

October 18, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Starbucks Corp. plans to offer a decaffeinated version of its Via Ready Brew instant coffee next month, saying early indicators show the new product is exceeding expectations.

"Many of our customers have been surprised and impressed to learn they were drinking instant coffee," Cliff Burrows, president of Starbucks' U.S. stores, said in a statement. The company didn't provide financial details or forecasts for Via, which has been available nationally since late September.

Via was introduced in March in Seattle, Chicago and London as part of the Seattle-based company's effort to get a piece of the $21-billion instant coffee market. Instant coffee accounts for about 40% of all cups made globally, according to Starbucks.

The decaffeinated coffees are to be sold starting Nov. 17 in the U.S. at $2.95 for a three-pack box and $10.95 for a 12-pack box.

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