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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 3, March 2011, Posted On: 2/18/2011

Starbucks Ramps Up Single-Cup Presence With In-Room Brewer Pact

Emily Jed
Starbucks Corp., Starbucks Consumer Products Group, single-serve brewing system, Courtesy Products, in-room coffee service, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Kraft, T-Discs for Kraft's Tassimo, vending machine business, vending, OCS, office coffee service

SEATTLE -- Starbucks Corp. said it will supply its ground coffee for use in a single-serve brewing system owned by Courtesy Products, a provider of in-room coffee service to hotels. Courtesy's CV1 brewers are an amenity in some U.S. 500,000 luxury hotel rooms nationwide.

Jeff Hansberry, president, Starbucks Consumer Products Group, said the single-serve coffee category in the U.S. is in an early stage of development, and the company is seeking to explore all opportunities related to the category.

"At this very early stage, there are numerous contenders and no demonstrated, long-term winners related to either format or machines," Hansberry said. "Look for further announcements from Starbucks as we continue to expand our presence in the premium single-serve category."

The announcement of the in-room deal, which kicks off this fall, follows mounting speculation over the coffee giant's single-cup plans, including talks with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to provide coffee for its Keurig portion-pack system. Fueling the buzz is Starbucks' move to end its distribution agreement with Kraft Foods Inc. by March 1. | SEE STORY

Under the pact, Starbucks provides T-Discs for Kraft's Tassimo one-cup brewer. Kraft also distributes the coffee giant's products to retailers.

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