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SEATTLE -- In hopes of taking its newest product mainstream, Starbucks Corp. this week expanded its instant coffee trial to include sales in certain Costco, Target and Barnes & Noble stores, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.
Starbucks unveiled VIA instant coffee in February and started selling it in Chicago and Seattle cafes in March. Starbucks decided to first offer VIA in cafes only, so that baristas could explain the product and offer free samples, a spokeswoman said.
Now, Costco and Target locations in the Seattle area and Illinois will sell the packets. At Costco, a bundle of 24 packets costs $15.98, which translates to 67 cents per cup. Barnes & Noble will sell Starbucks VIA instant coffee in Illinois only, the report said.
Costco Wholesale Corp. and Starbucks have partnered since before the coffee giant was a public company. Costco sells 2.5-pound bags of Starbucks coffee, as well as Starbucks whole beans, gift baskets and gift cards. Barnes & Noble has a foodservice account with Starbucks to operate mini-cafes, while Starbucks already sells packaged coffee and bottled Frappuccino at Target stores via the company's consumer products group.
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