The Seattle-based coffee chain says the Verismo will go on sale online, at high-end specialty stores and at some Starbucks cafes this fall. It’s keeping the price of the machine a mystery for now.
Starbucks entered the single-serve market with its Via Ready Brew instant coffee in 2009 and started selling K-cup packs for Green Mountain Coffee’s Keurig single-cup machines in November.
CEO Howard Schultz said in a webcast after the announcement that the new machine is for customers who also want to make espresso drinks. Keurig’s low-pressure machines, by contrast, are for brewed coffees.
Schultz said Starbucks had been transparent with Green Mountain and the two companies continue to enjoy a positive relationship.
"This is not about any disappointment with Green Mountain; it’s about controlling our own destiny." Schultz said. "They can and they will co-exist."
Starbucks says its new machine and coffee and milk pods are being developed in partnership with Krueger, a privately held German company. It wouldn’t describe the partnership in detail.
Starbucks has a three-pronged strategy: Via Ready Brew is intended for those who don’t want to buy a coffee machine; K-cups are for those who want a basic brewed coffee and Verismo will be for more sophisticated coffee drinkers.
Schultz has said in the past that Starbucks’ packaged-goods business could one day rival its cafe business.