Starbucks has added Fizzio, a line of handcrafted sodas, as part of a plan to expand afternoon sales.
“Fizzio Handcrafted Soda is unlike any soda in the marketplace because it’s handcrafted and made-to-order each time,” said Cliff Burrows, the retailer’s group president, in a statement posted on Starbucks' website. “The addition of Fizzio … gives our customers more refreshing beverage choices made with the premium ingredients they expect from Starbucks.”
According to radio station WTOP in Washington, D.C., a Fizzio is made using the retailer’s exclusive carbonation machine, which adds a customizable amount of carbonation to finished beverages. Available flavors are Spiced Root Beer, Golden Ginger Ale and Lemon Ale. Fizzios rolled out in Starbucks in 16 states in the East, South and Southwest.
Starbucks said each soda contains no artificial flavors, no preservatives or high fructose corn syrup, and 16 fluid ounces has 100 calories or less.
As for the price per drink, The Kansas City Star reported that it would vary by market, but said a medium-sized soda will cost $2.95 in Los Angeles. The handcrafted sodas will be available nationwide by June 2015.
Along with a soda, customers might also like a sandwich, so last week Starbucks also announced that it is adding two new lunch sandwiches to its menu: Turkey Pesto Panini and Old-Fashioned Grilled Cheese.
Followers of the Starbucks fan site starbucksmelody.com expressed mixed opinions on the new sandwich options:
“I LOVE grilled cheese so I’m looking forward to trying them AND pesto!?!?!? Yes, please …”
“I’m actually sorry to see this addition. Before you know it, they’ll have Big Mac’s, or Sbux $$$ version of.”
New sandwiches and Fizzio sodas are components of Starbucks move to boost in-store sales, particularly in the afternoon, said Bloomberg Businessweek in March 2014. Approximately half of the retailer’s sales are before 11 a.m. It is also pushing back on fast-food chains that are nibbling into its breakfast sales. McDonald’s and Burger King are reemphasizing their breakfast menus, and Taco Bell has added a breakfast line.
Also, with the current trend for customized sodas, it seems an opportune time to introduce Fizzio. While consumption of carbonated beverages has decline, SN reports that sales for home soda machines from 2012 to 2013 grew 30%.
“Overall consumption of traditional soda in the home has declined, giving home soda machine manufacturers and beverage companies an opportunity to offset the trend by introducing new product offerings that capitalize on current consumer beverage preferences,” said Debra Mednick, executive director and home industry analyst for The NPD Group.
Among home soda machine manufacturers are SodaStream, Mastrad, Cuisinart and Keurig Green Mountain, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Starbucks is not joining that list, however. Burrows, quoted in The Kansas City Star, said Fizzio machines were designed for in-store use and there are no plans to market them to consumers.
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