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Starbucks Coffee Company this week joined the estimated $8 billion energy drink business with the rollout of new caffeinated juices in three versions: instant mixes, ready-to-drink cans and handcrafted drinks in coffeehouse locations.
The Seattle-based coffeehouse chain said in March that it planned to debut a line of energy drinks called Starbucks Refreshers, one of a growing number of “billion dollar” business lines the company has designed for cross-channel development. The drinks are made with coffee extract from unroasted arabica beans, which gives the natural boost of caffeine in a juice-based drink.
On Friday between noon to 3 p.m. local time, Starbucks locations in the U.S. and Canada will celebrate the launch by offering free, 12-ounce samples of the handcrafted versions of the energy drinks, which are mixed with pieces of fresh fruit.
“Innovation is at the core of everything we do,” said Cliff Burrows, president, Starbucks Americas, in a statement Monday. “As the coffee category continues to evolve, our customers expect more and we are committed to bringing uniquely relevant products to market.” At the end of its April-ended second quarter, Starbucks had 12,570 locations in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, among about 17,420 units worldwide.