The coffee giant announced at its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday in Seattle that it was extending its contract with Keurig Green Mountain to continue to be the supplier of Starbucks K-cup pods. The companies will launch a new line of products for the Keurig hot drink system: the Starbucks Latte, including flavors like Caramel, Mocha and Vanilla. That will also include Starbucks' iconic pumpkin spice for the holiday season.
In its most recent full fiscal year, Starbucks' global comparable sales rose 7%, with increases in each region, while total revenue rose 17% to a record $19.2 billion. To sustain that, the company constantly introduces new products.
In addition to the latte k-cups, Starbucks will bring to market a bottled version of its cold brew coffee that will be sold at its own stores and at grocery stores. (Starbucks gets 8%, or about $1.5 billion in annual sales from such products.)
Keurig, a Vermont-based company, was bought last year by German conglomerate JAB Holding for $13.9 billion. The company makes the disposable small cups and one-cup coffee makers that have grown in popularity in recent years. The Starbucks K-Cup line started in 2011 and is Keurig's biggest seller.
At the annual shareholder meeting, Starbucks Global Channel Development President Michael Conway said he wants Starbucks to become the leading player in the $8 billion single-serve category. Another innovation announced on Wednesday: Starbucks announced it will be launching a pod in Europe compatible with Nespresso machines.
Among many announcements at the meeting, Starbucks also announced it was bringing its Teavana chain of tea stores to China.