Starbucks Expands Into Soft Drinks as SodaStream Rumors Bubble Up
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In its quest to become your go-to spot for all things drinkable, Starbucks is pushing into a new front: soda.
The coffee giant announced yesterday that it will offer "handcrafted" carbonated beverages under the name "Fizzio" in 3,000 stores across the U.S., as well as in Singapore, South Korea and China, by the end of 2014.
Starbucks started testing the handcrafted sodas in Atlanta and Austin, Texas, late last year. Currently, the chain offers three sodas -- Golden Ginger Ale, Spiced Root Beer and Lemon Ale -- which are carbonated immediately after customers order. However, Starbucks reportedly plans to add additional, locally relevant flavors over the course of the summer.
While Starbucks filed a trademark application for "Fizzio" as a name for the fizzy-beverage making machines last September, there have been rumors that the coffee chain is eyeing a well-known carbonated beverage machine company: SodaStream. In a potential $1 billion deal, Israeli business news website Globes reports Starbucks is in advanced talks to take a 10-percent stake in the company.
Even if fizzy coffee isn't everyone's cup of tea (yes, that's really a thing), Starbucks has proved that it is eager to expand into new markets. Earlier this year, Starbucks announced that select shops would be selling wine and beer in the evenings. The chain has also emphasized its lunch offerings, testing new items in addition to last year's roll out of La Boulange pastry items.
On Thursday, Starbucks reported same-store sales rose 6 percent in the U.S. in the second quarter. The company earned $427 million, up from $390.4 million a year ago.