I had a good ol' time making light of the Starbucks value meal -- err, "breakfast pairings" -- last week. And when Beth was invited to a special media event earlier this week, I actually rolled my eyes at the comment from AG: "I think they will announce that they have... "secretly replaced the fine coffee they usually serve with Folgers Crystals.""


I apologize for my eye rolls, AG. You were right. Well, right-ish. Starbucks hasn't lost its finely-crafted language, calling its new "Via" product a "soluble" coffee. The product will, according to reports, be sold in stores to "brew" at home for $2.95 for a pack of three, and $9.95 for a pack of 12. Reports on what a "pack" consists of were unavailable.

Starbucks partners and many customers were incredulous and I have to join forces. Most keen was the analysis of one commenter on Starbucks
Gossip
, who pointed out the target market of instant coffee just doesn't like Starbucks, and is unlikely to pay more for instant coffee branded by the chain, asking, "what makes them think Sbux will win over the instant coffee drinkers? Many of those folks 1) can't/won't pay a premium for coffee and 2) think Sbux is overpriced and 3) think Sbux coffee tastes burnt." Exactly. If you're not buying Starbucks coffee now, you won't be likely to buy the instant; if you're buying Starbucks coffee now, you're unlikely to be willing to lower your standards (no matter how well the coffee approximates the chain's regular brew). What do you think?

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