Starbucks will sell handmade sodas in some U.S. stores to boost afternoon sales, pursuing its expansion beyond coffee to attract customers at different times of the day.
Sodas under the name Fizzio will be made behind the counter with syrup and a carbonation machine. They’ll come in three flavors: spiced root beer, ginger ale and lemon ale.
The sodas will go on sale starting Tuesday in about 3,500 Starbucks cafes in the southern U.S., Cliff Burrows, president of the Americas region, said in a phone interview. By this time next year, the sodas will be in all U.S. stores, he said. The chain has about 11,600 U.S. locations.
Starbucks is also revamping its lunch sandwiches and testing new grilled-cheese and beef-brisket baguettes. The Seattle-based coffee chain is targeting the lunch crowd as more competitors encroach on the breakfast business.
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Fizzio sodas take about 90 seconds to make, the same as a frappuccino or smoothie, according to Burrows.
“This is the perfect complement to what we’ve done with our lunch program with foods,” Burrows said. While Starbucks sells bottled sodas, customers wanted more refreshing drinks, he said.
The Fizzio machines were designed to be used in stores; there’s no plan to sell them to customers, Burrows said.
Prices will vary by market. A medium-sized Fizzio will cost $2.95 in Los Angeles.
Starbucks, which also sells Evolution Fresh juice, La Boulange pastries and Teavana tea, said last week it would raise some prices in its cafes and for Starbucks-branded coffees sold in grocery stores, after a drought in Brazil pushed up the cost of the commodity.
Starbucks stock closed up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $76.73 Monday. The shares have lost 2.1 percent this year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen 6.2 percent.