Starbucks to enter ready-to-drink market in Japan, Taiwan

by Staff
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SEATTLE — Starbucks Corporation will enter the ready-to-drink coffee category in Japan and Taiwan, the company announced today. The combined ready-to-drink market in these countries represents more than U.S.$10 billion in total annual consumer sales.

In March, agreements were signed with Starbucks local business partners and major distributors in both countries to manufacture and distribute a Starbucks-branded premium ready-to-drink coffee. Starbucks plans to enter the category in the chilled segment.

In Japan, Starbucks has entered into an agreement with Suntory Ltd., a leading Japanese producers and distributors of food and beverages, for the manufacture and distribution of coffee ready-to-drink products. Starbucks Coffee Japan, Ltd., which has operated Starbucks stores in Japan since 1996, will provide ongoing consulting support including local brand and marketing expertise for the Japanese market.

In Taiwan, Starbucks has entered into a distribution agreement with President Starbucks Coffee Taiwan Limited, the company's joint venture partner in Taiwan, for marketing and distribution of the new product. The product for Taiwan will be manufactured by Uni-President Enterprises Corp., one of the largest food and beverage companies in the country.

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