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How will Starbucks enter the single-serve brewing market?  People continue to offer their theories on who would be the best partner for Starbucks.  Just a few weeks ago, I said that I thought Tassimo, a brand with global penetration, would be a more suitable partner than the more U.S.-centric Keurig brand.  I still don’t think Starbucks will partner with GMCR, but according to the following update on Starbucks, which is being provided on Tassimo’s website, Tassimo is an unlikely partner as well.

“As you may have read, the strategic partnership between Kraft Foods and the Starbucks Coffee Company will end on March 1. As a result, we will be unable to offer Starbucks and Seattle’s Best Coffee products for Tassimo once existing inventories of coffee are depleted. While supplies last, availability of all varieties of Starbucks and Seattle’s Best Coffee for Tassimo will vary, depending on local inventory and demand.”

SBUX’s not partnering with Tassimo makes sense, however, given the recent comments made by CEO Howard Schultz in his memo to Starbucks partners.  As I wrote in a February 17th post titled “SBUX – MY TAKE ON THE STARBUCKS MEMO FROM TODAY…”, I interpreted Mr. Schultz’s comments to say, among other things, that Starbucks is completely capable of internally developing its own innovative products to dominate every segment of the coffee market, including the single-serve brewing segment and none of the single-serve brewing systems currently available to the market are good enough to be tied to the Starbucks name.

Howard Penney

Managing Director