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Starbucks adds RTD Cold and Crafted Splash line

Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Vanilla, Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Mocha, and Coffee Sweetened Black debut

Starbucks expanded its line of ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee beverages with a Cold & Crafted line, including Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Vanilla, Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Mocha, and Coffee Sweetened Black. These RTD beverages are a result of consumer research conducted to help the coffee chain fill a gap in the coffee product line.

A total of 72% of coffee drinkers have never tried a RTD beverage in the coffee category, Starbucks noted, per IRI Household Panel (2020). Now, it is targeting these customers with beverages that its R&D team helped develop as a result of its research: RTD coffee beverages that are light in calories and sugar.

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“The team’s primary focus was to develop lightly sweetened coffee beverages, below 100 calories, without compromising the taste profile,” said Manpreet Cheema, senior product developer on the Starbucks R&D team. “Choosing the best roast profiles and brewing method was key to delivering on a smooth, refreshing sip, and we did months of tastings and consumer tests to make sure we got it just right.”

The base of the Starbucks Cold & Crafted line is cold brew coffee, as this would provide the most “complex, yet balanced profile, with nuances of cocoa on top of a rounded coffee taste,” according to the coffee giant. The R&D team then added flavor profiles that complemented the cold brew well, while fulfilling the product’s goals as set forth by its consumer research.

Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Vanilla, Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Mocha, and Coffee Sweetened Black emerged as the new products, priced under $3; the price point makes them competitive in the RTD coffee space on food retailer shelves.

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Starbucks also added Dark Cocoa Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew and Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew, which comes in 11-fluid ounce and 40-fluid ounce bottles.

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