Starbucks to Launch New Blonde Roast
Starbucks Coffee Company made a five-city wide press conference to announce the release of their new Blonde Roast. This roast profile was developed using the 40 years of experience that the company has in finding the best coffee in the world and roasting it perfectly. Starbucks first realized how much larger their customer base could get when they developed the VIA Ready Brew instant coffee product. This attracted thousands of consumers who didn’t use the brand because they don’t brew coffee.
The Blonde Roast appeals to both existing customers who’d like to try something lighter and new customers who find medium or dark roast too intense. Recent consumer research shows that about 40 percent of consumers who drink coffee prefer blends with a lighter roast. This accounts for 54 million shoppers in the coffee aisle each year. Light and medium roasts account for over 70 percent of annual coffee sales. Starbucks did not previously offer a truly light roast option before this release.
Starbucks President Cliff Burrows says that the coffee will be distributed through retail partners and in the company owned stores. The development of new roast blends is part of the growth strategy of the brand, which focuses on expanding into greater product diversity, reaching out to new coffee categories and finding more channels for distributing their products.
Blonde Roast debuts nationwide in January of 2012. Baristas will brew your favorite coffee drinks with the light blend, or customers can pick up whole and ground beans as well as K-Cup Portion Packs. 80 different variations on the theme were tested before the final taste of the Blonde Roast was nailed down. Although the roast is light, the coffee flavor remains bold and full. All the current coffee varieties will be bagged and organized by roast intensity by the beginning of 2012 as well.