At first, the coffee giant's plan to release an instant java that might dilute its brand (and cannibalize its drink sales) seemed strange. But now, Starbucks is laughing all the way to the bank. The company said it has already grabbed 30% of the market share in the single-serve/pod coffee space, a sector that represents $330 million in sales, according to A.C. Nielsen. Starbucks is now increasing Via distribution in major consumer-facing retailers such as Costco
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
In its press announcement, Starbucks intriguingly noted that nearly 40% of the folks it surveyed said they use Via in addition to other beverages. In short, Via's not actually replacing the Starbucks drinks they already buy, which should help calm fears that the instant packets would cannibalize sales at Starbucks' stores.
All in all, Via's another win for Starbucks on the heels of its latest decent quarter, even as Green Mountain reported a green quarter, too. Can these two coffee companies both win with single-serve coffee options? Do other companies with instant coffee brands stand to lose more, like J.M. Smucker's
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Starbucks and Costco are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Costco and Wal-Mart are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Costco. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.