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Starbucks Launches a Fruity Energy Drink: Refreshers

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Hold on to your four hour energy shots, because Starbucks is jumping into the energy drink market. Called Refreshers, the drinks will use a flavorless green coffee extract to perk up low calorie juices with ginseng and other healthy stuff. Refreshers come in Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Lemonade and Orange Melon, and will be available in grocery stores.

Starbucks has been diversifying at a rapid rate recently: opening a juice bar, getting into single-serving coffee machines, and now Refreshers. Shareholders in the company are so happy apparently one told Reuters CEO Howard Schultz ought to run for President. Starbucks nation, everybody. Here's a press release:

Starbucks Announces Beverage Innovation Using Green Coffee Extract with Starbucks Refreshers™ Beverage Platform

SEATTLE, March 21, 2012 - Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced plans for a global entry into the energy category with Starbucks Refreshers™ beverages – making Starbucks the first to bring green coffee extract innovation to customers on a global scale. Starbucks Refreshers™ beverages are a breakthrough innovation that deliver thirst-quenching refreshment from real fruit juice and a boost of natural energy from a new source, green coffee extract. The new beverage platform gives the company an opportunity to introduce a completely new offering globally – yet another proof point of how Starbucks is executing its growth strategy.

“The launch of new products such as Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew, Starbucks® Blonde Roast Coffees and customizable Frappuccino are great examples of how we continue to leverage our coffee expertise. If anyone was going to innovate in coffee while delivering on an untapped energy and refreshment need state, it would be Starbucks,” said Annie Young-Scrivner, global chief marketing officer for Starbucks and president, Tazo Tea. “The energy category is the fastest growing category within measured CPG channels at $8 billion, up 16 percent over the last year*. The launch of Starbucks Refreshers™ beverages continues to support our growth strategy to innovate with new products, enter new categories, and expand into new channels of distribution.”

The introduction of the Starbucks Refreshers™ beverages brand platform is an evolution of the coffee market using a new breakthrough coffee experience using green coffee extract, resulting in thirst-quenching, delicious, low calorie refreshment with a boost of natural energy from caffeine and fruit juice. Unlike the traditional process, the green coffee extract used in Starbucks Refreshers™ beverages is unroasted – resulting in a beverage with a mild and fresh flavor while still retaining naturally occurring caffeine. Made with green coffee extract from 100% arabica beans, customers will be able to experience Starbucks Refreshers™ beverages in multiple formats, making it easy to re-energize wherever they are.

Available now, customers can discover an innovation in energizing refreshment with ready-to-drink Starbucks Refreshers™ beverages at select grocery locations in the U.S. At 60 calories per 12 fl. oz. can, ready-to-drink Starbucks Refreshers™ beverages are available in Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Lemonade and Orange Melon, in lightly sparkling, ready-to-drink form. By the end of April, customers will find ready-to-drink Starbucks Refreshers™ beverages at more than 160,000 points of distribution where they buy groceries in the U.S.

* Source: IRI YTD ending December 25, 2011.

· Starbucks Factory Investments to Create 150 Jobs [Reuters]
· Starbucks Refreshers™ Beverage Platform [Press Release]
· All Starbucks Coverage on Eater [-E-]