Starbucks’ Refresher Line Is Really Fresh!
In the past 6 months, Starbucks has done everything to stay at the top of the game. Be it offering a stronger brew to its customers in Britain or launching the Evolution Fresh Store for its health-conscious clientele, or opening up a single Tazo Tea Shop in America, the company has introduced fresh concepts at regular intervals. So, the Starbucks Refreshers line comes as less of a surprise for those who know the company and its products. Two days ago, the company launched its new drink line in the US and Canada and has plans to spread it to the rest of its locations in the world. If that has got you interested, go on reading.
What is a Refresher?
The Refresher line up will be available in three forms – Ready-to-Drink, Handcrafted, and VIA. While the Starbucks customers would be familiar with the first two varieties, the third one is the latest drink format introduced by the company in 2009. To describe it in simple words, VIA format is the micro-ground variety of the drink, which can be dissolved directly in water and consumed. This means, even if you are out there in the wilderness, you don’t have to give up having your favorite Starbucks beverage. There are four flavors (Raspberry Pomegranate, Lemonade, Strawberry, and Orange Melon) to be sold in the Ready-to-Drink line up while in the Handcrafted and VIA formats, you can enjoy Cool Lime and Very Berry Hibiscus flavors.
Is it a Milestone?
Well, the company insists so. Since the Refresher line up is more in the energy drink category, in which the company has been making forays recently, the health-conscious customers can now opt for any of the flavors available. The Handcrafted Refresher drinks have already been introduced in France earlier this month and later this month as well as in August, the same would be launched in Starbucks’ international outlets too. The fact that the energy drinks market grew by 16% in terms of dollar sales in 2011 is the main reason why Starbucks has been focusing hard on these drinks.
When asked about the innovative line up Julie Felss Masino, vice president of global beverage for Starbucks, said, “You see it in cosmetics and pharmeceuticals, but Starbucks’ innovation marks the first time its caffeine is being harvested for a drink.” While the company has been working on its ingredient, which is coffee bean primarily, but till now, everything has been under lock and key. Even Masino did not reveal anything, saying that it was a “proprietary process.” She, however, explained that the company was looking at creating all-natural products. She said, “There’s been a lot of FDA regulations around energy and caffeine and natural energy and what you can and can’t say. This is natural energy. It’s a boost of natural energy from green coffee extract.”
The Health Factor
Keeping in mind these FDA regulations, as pointed out by the Starbucks’ vice president for global beverages, the company has ensured that the Handcrafted drinks, made in baristas, should be sweetened either with fruit juice or Stevia (a natural sugar substitute). As for its international outlets, the Handcrafted drinks shall be sweetened with cane sugar only.
As a parting shot, Masino says, “VIA is an innovative line for us. We have big plans for that product.” Well, it seems that the company is not going to rest on its past laurels so keep watching this space for more.