Starbucks Adds Energy Options

Starbucks customers have another option for caffeine infusion now that the Seattle coffee chain has unveiled its “+Energy” products in U.S. stores, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported.

The new caffeine ingredients can be added to any existing Starbucks handmade beverage by saying “plus energy” at the end of an order, the newspaper reported.

Baristas have been trained to mix +Energy into drinks, as it contains B-vitamins, guarana and ginseng. The energy line is one of three new beverage lines Starbucks is pursuing in hopes of giving stores a revenue boost. In recent months, Starbucks has seen profit decline and falling foot traffic.

The company attributes most of its problems to rising gas prices and a general slump in the national economy. But the energy beverage market is big (worth about $4.4 billion last year), and it’s still growing, Starbucks says.

“It’s a perfect match for active lifestyles,” spokeswoman Bridget Baker said of the new product line. “It’s a way of meeting that demand and addressing that need.”

Next month, the company will begin selling ready-to-drink Starbucks Doubleshot Energy + Coffee in its coffee shops, as well as in grocery and convenience stores and places where its bottled Frappuccino is sold.

The new drinks are distributed by the North American Coffee Partnership, Starbucks’ venture with Pepsi-Cola. The ready-to-drink beverage also contains Starbucks coffee, B-vitamins, guarana and ginseng.

For customers’ first experience with +Energy, Starbucks is adding it to the Doubleshot on Ice drink. The energy boost can be added to any hot or cold drink. Starbucks’ research and development team, a group of culinary experts, food scientists and product designers, developed the boost, which costs 50 cents excluding tax.

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