Starbucks Corp., the world's largest coffeehouse operator, will expand its Via Ready Brew instant coffees to all stores in the U.S. and Canada starting Sept. 29.
The instant blends were introduced in March in Seattle, Chicago and London as part of an effort to get a piece of the $21-billion soluble coffee market, the company said. The coffees are available in two varieties -- bold and medium -- and are sold in packs of three servings for $2.95 or 12 for $9.95.
Instant coffee accounts for about 40% of all cups made globally, according to Starbucks. The Via coffees are also sold at Costco Wholesale Corp. and Target Corp. stores. Seattle-based Starbucks got about 3% of its 2008 revenue of $10.4 billion from packaged coffee and tea sales.