Jim Beam Adds Kick To Starbucks Coffee
By George Anderson
For those who define strong coffee in different terms, there will shortly be
a premium coffee liqueur from Starbucks and Jim Beam, a unit of Fortune Brands,
on the market later this year.
The still to be named product, prominently featuring the Starbucks brand, will
be on the market for sale in bars, restaurants and liquor stores. It will not
be available for sale in Starbucks’ coffee shops.
Starbucks Chief Executive Orin Smith told Reuters the move into liqueur was
a logical progression for the coffee brand. “It has been our intention since
the mid ’90s to build a very strong brand at retail and then to leverage into
other product categories and channels of distribution,” he said.
Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Starbucks
and Jim Beam partnering on a coffee liqueur to leverage the equity in their
The new Starbucks/Jim Beam coffee liqueur will compete
with the likes of Allied Domecq’s Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish cream. According
to the Reuters piece, these two brands “account for 2.5 million cases of the
12.5 million to 20 million cases of cordials and liqueurs sold each year in
the United States.” – George
Anderson – Moderator