Starbucks Tests Handcrafted Sodas

Photo Credit: Nation's restaurant NewsStarbucks is testing some new beverage innovations in various markets, including handcrafted sodas and a “cold-foam mocha.”

According to the unofficial fan website StarbucksMelody.com, in June the coffeehouse chain began a second phase of testing new carbonated beverages, including a proprietary root beer and ginger ale, in a limited number of stores in Atlanta and Austin, Texas.

A spokeswoman for Starbucks confirmed the test locations, saying, “testing is a way of life for Starbucks.” But she could not offer specifics.

Wall Street analyst Mark Kalinowski of Janney Capital Markets wrote in a report that Starbucks first tested three types of sodas — including a Lemon Ale — at a few locations near Seattle in mid-April. The company was also looking at carbonating other beverages, like the new Cool Lime Refreshers rolled out last year.

In a report on Monday, Kalinowski wrote of the expanded soda test, saying “the odds favor” a national rollout, perhaps during fiscal 2014.

“While not everything Starbucks tests eventually makes it to a national rollout, we are pleased to see that the company isn’t resting on its laurels,” he wrote.

Kalinowski also wrote that he plans to follow the test of the cold-foam mocha, which began last week in a few stores in Nashville, Tenn., according to StarbucksMelody.com.  READ MORE

Posted on July 3, 2013 and filed under The Chipotle Effect.