SEATTLE -- Starbucks Coffee Co. has announced that it will introduce a premium single-cup machine this fall, in time for the holidays. Called Verismo, the new machine incorporates high-pressure extraction technology and is designed to prepare both Starbucks-quality espresso beverages and brewed coffees.
"The premium single-cup segment is the fastest-growing business within the global coffee industry," said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive. "We have long believed that the biggest prize within the segment is a high-pressure system that would give us the opportunity to deliver Starbucks-quality espresso beverages at home and at work for customers who desire the Starbucks espresso experience outside of our stores."
Combining Starbucks signature espresso roast and beverage recipes with Swiss engineering, the Seattle company sourced 100% arabica coffee and milk pods through a strategic relationship with privately held Krueger GmbH & Co. KG (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany).
"The combination of Starbucks coffee authority and our technology and development expertise will enable Starbucks to deliver the quality and taste expectations in the cup that millions of people all over the world have come to expect from Starbucks," said Marc Krueger, a member of the Krueger management board.
The introduction of the Verismo system by Starbucks advances the company's plan to offer a full portfolio of premium single cup alternatives and experiences to customers. The first step was the introduction of Via Ready Brew soluble coffee in 2009, followed by last fall's launch of Starbucks K-Cup packs as part of a groundbreaking relationship with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Waterbury, VT).
The Verismo system will be sold online and at select Starbucks retail stores, as well as by specialty retailers in the U.S. and select international markets, including Canada. Details on pricing, availability and retail distribution will be announced on a new website, starbucks.com/verismo, as the launch date approaches.
Separately, shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR) took a hit after-hours Thursday after partner Starbucks announced its single-cup plans. Green Mountain's Keurig system is the leader in the single-cup office coffee and home markets.