Can instant coffee give Starbucks some pep?

02/17/2009 | Advertising Age (tiered subscription model)

Starbucks is due to announce its big product breakthrough today: An instant coffee called Via. Is this a brilliant downturn adaption or is CEO Howard Schultz cheapening the brand? "With Howard you're going to get some great home runs, and you're going to get some strikeouts," says analyst Sharon Zackfia. His surprise hit so far: Oatmeal, which has become the company's most popular food. Now there's a product for austere times -- comfort and virtue in one thrifty bowl.

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