Thursday, July 11, 2013

Starbucks testing new handmade sodas

Starbucks used to be a place to buy expensive coffee drinks.  Now, in addition to hot and cold coffees, Refreshers, salads, sandwiches and pastries, the chain is quiety testing hand-mixed carbonated sodas in locations around Seattle, Atlanta and Austin.  Especially important to increasing afternoon business, the new sodas are now offered in three off-the-beaten-path flavors: lemon ale, ginger ale, and spiced root beer.  No decision has yet been announced whether Starbucks will roll out the soda drinks throughout its nationwide network, though many analysts expect them to appear on menu boards across the US by 2014.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
USA Today

Link to article:
Starbucks quietly testing handcrafted soft drinks
Excerpt: "The Starbucks siren is dipping her tail into soda.

The coffee kingpin, which has been carefully but methodically evolving beyond coffee over the past several years, is quietly testing handcrafted soft-drink products — spiced root beer, ginger ale and a lemon ale — in some stores in the Atlanta and Austin markets.

The fizzy drinks, made by baristas with special carbonation machines, are sold at Starbucks prices. In some Atlanta locations, for example, a tall goes for $2.45 while the venti fetches $3.45.

The move comes at a time Starbucks has its hands in a torrent of non-coffee activity — from teas to juices to energy drinks to improved pastries — as it tries to evolve into a multifaceted brand that's as familiar at the grocery store as in the Starbucks store. Some information on the most recent soft-drink test has been reported in The Wall Street Journal, Nation's Restaurant News and the unaffiliated StarbucksMelody.com blog. But Starbucks executives are mostly mum.

'We test products to help us understand how new product extensions can fit within our customers' daily routine — throughout the day,' says Starbucks spokeswoman Lisa Passe.

She said it's too soon to know if the drinks will move beyond the few cities in which they're now being tested."

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