Friday, February 13, 2009

Starbucks to offer instant coffee.

Welcome to yet another edition of "Signs that the economy is bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. Today we learn that Starbucks will begin offering an instant coffee. Yes, you read that right. Instant coffee. The company known for their $4 lattes and their fancy coffee drinks in the exotic sizes now has decided to give competition to other fine brands like Sanka. Taster's Choice? Look out, Starbucks is coming after you. Folgers? You are next.

This has to be a serious sign that the economy is bad when a company that made its reputation on the fact they sell fancy coffee drinks now has to worry such a reputation could be a problem. The company has not been doing well overall in the current economy. According to the article, "analysts have been awaiting a turnaround concept from Starbucks for more than two years, ever since the company's profits started declining due to over-expansion and increased competition from McDonald's (MCD, Fortune 500) and Dunkin Donuts." In other words, they were handed their asses to them by Mickey D's and Dunkin Donuts. Mickey D's for crying out loud makes better coffee than Starbucks. Don't take my word for it. The fine folks at Consumer Reports said so; it is reported here for instance.

So instant coffee is the best that the Starbucks folks can come up with the turn around the company? Well, according to the article, "while the product [instant coffee] has fallen out of favor in the U.S., it is still widely consumed in countries like Brazil and England." Maybe they can get all those Brits and Brazilians to drink Starbucks Instant, which will be known as Via.

Oh well, just another sign that the economy is bad. Personally, I will keep making my own coffee, thank you very much.

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