By now you’ve heard Starbucks is introducing an instant coffee product. It’s a just add water and stir packet called VIA. Okay. Fine. That’s cool. Starbucks has long-dabbled with concentrated instant coffee.
For the past ten years, the Frappuccino ice-blended drinks you’ve been enjoying have been made using a powdered coffee concentrate. And the bottled Frappuccino drink from Pepsi uses concentrated coffee as its base. So concentrated instant coffee isn’t new for Starbucks.
What is new … is how Starbucks is positioning this product. Howard Schultz, Starbucks ceo and chairman, is talking about how VIA will “disrupt and reinvent the instant coffee category.”
That’s right, “disrupt and reinvent the instant coffee category.”
Hmm … priorities seem to be misplaced.
Shouldn’t Starbucks be more concerned with disrupting and reinventing their core retail business and not the instant coffee category?
Lack of rejuvenating their core retail business has resulted in closing nearly 1,000 locations, the loss of almost 6,000 jobs, and the marginalization of the Starbucks brand.
Selling instant coffee isn’t an instant fix to solving Starbucks problems. It’s a distraction, not a solution.