Starbucks is taking on the in-home coffee market with the launch of a pod-style, single cup coffee machine in the UK plus a shopping site to allow customers to order the system and coffee products online.
According to the company, the new Verismo machine gives customers the opportunity to make Starbucks drinks in the comfort of their own homes.
The launch is part of Starbucks’ growth strategy for the UK, outlined in December 2011, when it pledged to provide the highest quality coffee wherever customers are; from airports to roadside and drive-thru locations, as well as at home.
It follows the company’s move into the self-service market, when it launched Starbucks On the Go, earlier this month.
Starbucks said the move responds to the changing needs of UK consumers who are increasingly on the lookout for convenience but are not willing to compromise on quality; and builds on the success of its current range of products for the home, such as Starbucks VIA and Discoveries.
Starbucks said the Verismo system represents a multi-million pound opportunity for the business. Coffee pods are currently seeing the fastest growth in the coffee market and continue to offer the strongest growth potential in the sector, the company claims.
The new website – www.starbucksstore.co.uk – will enable customers to shop the Starbucks brand online and have the new Verismo system delivered direct to their doorstep.
It is part of the company’s growing digital presence and plan to open up new distribution channels to increase its retail offer.
The site provides UK customers with more convenient ways to shop for coffee, tea and branded merchandise, Starbucks said.
Kris Engskov, managing director, Starbucks UK and Ireland, said: “Up until today making a Starbucks latte at home was just not possible. Now customers who have been asking for more convenient ways to enjoy Starbucks need look no further. The lattes from our Verismo machine are made with the same 100% Fairtrade espresso beans we use in our stores and real milk so customers can now make their Starbucks favourites just the way they like them in the comfort of their own home. Plus, customers can now also order their favourite Starbucks coffee beans online.
“This has been an exciting 12 months for customers who love our latte, from our decision to add a double shot to all lattes as standard, to bringing them Starbucks On the Go for those times when convenience is important. We’re going to keep making these big moves to bring the great quality of Starbucks to our customers wherever they are, from airports to roadside, drive thrus and now at home.”
The Verismo system by Starbucks will be sold online from 21 September 2012, at a number of speciality retailers including Selfridges from early October and then selected Starbucks retail stores (580 only) from 2 November 2012.
The machine is available in two models – the 580 will retail at £149.00 and the 585 will retail at £349.00. Espresso, filter coffee and milk pods will be available for £5.99 for packs of 12.