Starbucks® Blonde Roast - The lighter roast perfected - Now brewing in Canada

New Blonde roast appeals to 40 per cent of Canadian coffee drinkers looking for a lighter flavour profile

TORONTO, Feb. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Beginning today, Starbucks® Blonde Roast will be available as a brewed option in Starbucks stores across Canada.  Starbucks® Blonde Roast, a lighter roast coffee from the company known for its signature dark roast, meets the needs of the 10 million Canadian coffee drinkers who say they prefer a lighter roast coffee.* Since its availability as a packaged wholebean and VIA® Ready Brew offering in Starbucks retail stores in January, there has been steady demand from customers to make Starbucks® Blonde Roast an everyday brewed option as well.

Perfecting a lighter roast coffee that delivers the great taste and quality customers have come to expect from Starbucks was achieved thanks to 40 years of blending and roasting experience and an artful collaboration between Starbucks coffee quality team and roast experts.

"It took eight months and more than 80 different recipe and roast iterations before we landed on the exact flavour profile our customers told us they were looking for," said Brad Anderson, master roaster for Starbucks.  "They told us they wanted a flavourful, lighter-bodied coffee that offers a milder taste and a gentle finish. Starbucks® Blonde Roast delivers."

The mellow and approachable coffee extends Starbucks Roast Spectrum to now include Starbucks® Blonde Roast™, in addition to the Medium and Dark Roast coffees on which the foundation of the company's business was built.  Starbucks® Blonde Roast selections include Starbucks® Veranda Blend™, Starbucks® Willow Blend™, and Starbucks® Decaf Willow Blend™.

To help coffee drinkers determine the coffee taste and intensity they prefer, Starbucks will host "Find the Roast You Love Most" tasting events in Canada from Feb. 9-11, at participating stores nationwide. Customers will be able to taste Starbucks® Blonde Roast alongside Starbucks® Medium and Dark Roast coffees.  Those who put their taste buds to the test will receive a sticker that identifies their roast preference, as well as a free sample of Starbucks® Blonde Roast to brew at home or a coupon for $1 off a pound of any Starbucks® coffee or any 10- or 12-pack of Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew.

"Starbucks® Blonde Roast is Starbucks answer to providing a premium lighter roast coffee to appeal to those that describe Starbucks signature roast as too intense," said Jeff Hansberry, president, Channel Development for Starbucks.

New Packaging Makes Finding a Favourite Coffee Easier
Coinciding with the launch of Starbucks® Blonde Roast is the introduction of new coffee packaging across North America, organized by roast - Starbucks® Blonde Roast, Starbucks® Medium Roast, and Starbucks® Dark Roast - to help customers navigate Starbucks® coffee options to find their favourite both in Starbucks retail stores or while shopping down the grocery coffee aisle.

"We know customers are frustrated when it comes to finding the coffee that is right for them," said Hansberry. "Organizing our coffees by Starbucks® Blonde, Medium, and Dark roasts will make it easier for shoppers looking for coffee to find the taste that appeal to them."

Offering Variety is Important Given Coffee's Appeal
In addition to the current availability of Starbucks® Blonde Roast selections in whole bean, Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew, and now as a brewed option in Starbucks stores throughout Canada - Starbucks® Blonde Roast Veranda Blend™ and Willow Blend™ will be available as a Roast and Ground packaged offering in Canadian grocery stores, later this month.  Starbucks VIA® Veranda Blend™, as well as Starbucks® K-Cup® Packs will also be launching in Canadian grocery channels in March.

About Starbucks Corporation
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest-quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.ca

For Broadcast quality B-Roll please click the link below.
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SOURCE Starbucks Coffee Company

For further information:

Sharon Smyl
Starbucks Coffee Company
206-318-7100
press@starbucks.com

Camille Kowalewski
Edelman
416-849-1901
Camille.kowalewski@edelman.com

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