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15 December 2017 02:27 (South Africa)

Starbucks seeks new growth through instant coffee

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

starbucks

So what’s up with Howard Schultz, Starbucks legendary CEO, introducing instant coffee, $1 per cup Via Ready Brew? It’s pretty simple: after many years of planetary expansion, all the way to 16 000 stores, Starbucks had to face what every big company has to at some stage: saturation. Selling espresso-based coffee enabled it to grow big, but it had to end somewhere. Starbucks’ ubiquity and the global downturn, coupled with increased competition from surprising competitors like Walmart, McDonalds and Dunkin’ Donuts, meant the radical ideas became very welcome. But instant coffe, for Pete’s sake? The market may be big, actually huge at $20 billion globally, and US instant coffee drinkers account for only 4% of it, making it obvious target for the behemoth desperate to grow. But do they have to destroy Starbucks in order to save it?

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

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