Starbucks Goes Instant

Company has high hopes for new $1 powdered coffee
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2009 6:59 AM CDT
Starbucks Via, a new instant coffee, will be on sale in large retailers but won't hit supermarkets until next year.   (AP Photo/Russel A. Daniels)
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(Newser) – Following a three-city test run, Starbucks is rolling out its new Via coffee across the country today, offering java-fiends an instant brew that costs less than a buck—and is purported to taste just as good as the real thing. The recession-hit coffee chain is selling the powder in Target and Costco stores and has a promotional deal with United Airlines, although Starbucks won't take on Nescafé in the grocery store aisle until next year. 

Asked about his move downmarket, the company's CEO told the Wall Street Journal: "We're convinced a majority of people won't be able to tell the difference."