Days after opening the company’s first premium juice bar in Washington, Starbucks has made a foray into another booming market with the launch of a new line of energy drinks made with fruit juice and green coffee extract.
Refreshers is being made available across the US before being deployed globally as ready-to-drink cans which are modeled conspicuously after leading energy beverages like Red Bull and Monster.
At an estimated $8 billion, Starbucks is hoping to capture market share in the fastest growing category within consumer packaged goods, which rose 16 percent globally last year.
The new product, which comes in a trio of sparkling, fruit-based flavors, gets its caffeine from a green coffee extract that, unlike the traditional coffee-making process, requires no roasting.
The result, the company says, is a beverage made from 100 percent Arabica beans with a mild and fresh flavor.
Meanwhile, earlier this week Starbucks opened their first Evolution Fresh store in Bellevue, Washington, a premium juice bar that sells freshly-squeezed, ready-to-drink juices and healthy foods.
The latest venture into premium juices comes following vocal warnings by Starbucks’ sustainability chief who has been sounding the alarm on dwindling coffee supplies due to climate change.
The move is also seen as a big step in the company’s overall strategy to enter the health and wellness sector.
Over time, the company says it plans to expand Evolution Fresh into additional channels.
Each 12 oz. Refreshers can, meanwhile, clocks in at 60 calories and comes in three flavors: Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Lemonade and Orange Melon.
By the end of April, Refreshers beverages will be sold at more than 16,000 points of distributions including grocery stores across the US.
Meanwhile, energy drink leader Red Bull is also expected to launch a new low-calorie version of their beverage in the US in April, says industry trade publication BevNet. Red Bull Zero will be calorie, sugar and carb-free.
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