Starbucks Via Instant Coffee as a Disruptor

I haven’t yet had an opportunity yet to try Starbucks’ recently launched instant coffe, Via, (I’m more of a Peets guy), but Scott Anthony has written a nice article about why it makes for an interesting disruptive play into the coffee market.

The company allegedly spent more than two decades developing Via, focusing on creating instant coffee with a taste profile that at least reasonably approximates in-store coffee. CEO Howard Shultz said, “We took a lot of time with it because we knew it could undermine the company if we didn’t do it right.”…

I wouldn’t say that Via was as good as a cup of coffee brewed at Starbucks (and truth be told, I prefer Dunkin’ Donuts coffee anyway). But in classic disruptive fashion, Via delighted me by substantially out-performing the other options available in my parents’ house. It is a great example of a company finding a powerful way to “love the low end.”

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