For the first time in the company’s 40 year history, Starbucks is offering customers a milder brewed coffee option. The new drink, entitled “Blonde Roast” launched Tuesday in company-operated and select licensed locations, and is available in two flavors: Veranda Blend, described as “mellow and soft,” and Willow Blend, which also is available in a decaf version and is described as “bright and clean.”
“Starbucks Blonde Roast is our 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. “This new roast profile will allow us to increase our share of the brewed coffee market down the grocery aisle, where a majority of coffee sales are in the light and medium roast categories.”
In order to promote the new blends, Starbucks will invite guests to “Find the Roast You Love Most”. From Jan. 12–14, guests can taste samples of the Blonde roast alongside Dark and Medium roast coffees. Those who participate will receive either a sample of the Blonde coffee to brew at home or a $1 coupon for any Starbucks coffee. Hours for the tasting will vary by location.