New Super-Premium Starbucks® Ice Cream Line Debuts
Starbucks and Unilever Join Forces to Deliver Indulgent Ice Cream Innovations to Consumers Across the U.S.
Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) and Unilever (NYSE: UN, UL) today unveiled a super-premium ice cream line inspired by some of consumers’ favorite Starbucks® beverages. Starbucks® ice cream is rolling into grocers nationwide, and will gain significant distribution in convenience stores and other mass retailers by early spring.
Created by culinary experts and food developers from both companies, Starbucks® ice cream is made with high-quality, all-natural ingredients. In addition, the farmers who supply its dairy content pledge not to treat their cows with rBGH.*
Starbucks® beverage flavors were selected for the line based on their popularity among consumers and their ability to complement the richness of super-premium ice cream. The line’s packaging design mirrors that of the iconic Starbucks cup, which is served at more than 11,500 Starbucks stores across the U.S.
“We want consumers to enjoy the Starbucks Experience on their terms – in our stores, on the go or at home, through a variety of food and beverage offerings,” said John Culver, president, Starbucks Global Consumer Products, Starbucks Foodservice and Seattle’s Best Coffee. “We’re pleased to introduce the new Starbucks® ice cream line in collaboration with a partner that shares our passion for innovation and our core values.”
Tapping into its cadre of ice cream experts, Unilever leveraged research and development teams behind brands like Ben & Jerry’s®, Breyers® and Good Humor® to produce Starbucks® ice cream. The company is also utilizing its specialized sales force, retailer relationships and deep marketing expertise to support distribution.
The launch will be promoted through an integrated marketing campaign that includes Starbucks customer loyalty communications; sampling, point-of-purchase signage and Starbucks kiosks at grocery channels; a comprehensive public relations program with online and offline components; and additional digital engagement via www.starbucksicecream.com.
“We are proud to add Starbucks® ice cream to our portfolio of popular ice cream brands,” said John LeBoutiller, Unilever SVP of Foods USA. “This product takes one of life’s most enduring pleasures – eating ice cream – and marries it with one of consumers’ favorite brands to create an unparalleled experience.”
Flavors available by the pint at grocers, convenience stores and other mass retailers include:
• Caramel Macchiato – swirled Coffee and Vanilla ice creams with ribbons of golden caramel
• Mocha Frappuccino® – swirled Coffee and Chocolate ice creams
• Java Chip Frappuccino® – Coffee ice cream with dark chocolaty chunks
• Coffee – swirled Coffee and Espresso ice creams
Novelty bar flavors offered at convenience stores include:
• Mocha – swirled Coffee and Chocolate ice creams dipped in milk chocolate
• Coffee – Coffee ice cream dipped in milk chocolate
In addition, Java Chip Frappuccino® ice cream is available at grocers and other mass retailers in a single-serve cup.
Suggested retail pricing is as follows:
• Pints – $3.99
• Coffee and Mocha novelty bars – $2.49
• Java Chip Frappuccino® single-serve cup (3.6 f.l. oz.) – $1.29
The new Starbucks® ice cream line is the result of an exclusive licensing agreement between Starbucks and Unilever for the product’s manufacturing, marketing and distribution. Announced in September 2008, the relationship leverages Starbucks coffee and beverage expertise and Unilever’s industry-leading ice cream innovation.
This is not the only collaboration between Starbucks and Unilever; in alliance with PepsiCo, the companies have a licensing agreement for the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of Starbucks super-premium Tazo® Tea ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages in the U.S. and Canada.
The original Starbucks® ice cream line was introduced in 1996, at which time it became a leader in the U.S. coffee ice cream category.
*The FDA has said no significant difference has been shown and no test can now distinguish between milk from rBGH-treated and untreated cows. Not all of the suppliers of Unilever’s other ingredients can promise the milk they use comes from untreated cows.
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