Today is the launch of the Flavored Starbucks Via.  I’ve mentioned it in previous blog posts.  There are four flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon Spice, Mocha and Vanilla.  I went into my local Starbucks downtown and saw them actively sampling the Vanilla Flavored Via.  Starbucks says that 60% of their customers add flavors to their coffee and that “this is the right thing to do.” 

I’m a little bit confused how this happened to me, but I’ve pretty much become a Via fan. The two original varieties (Italian Roast and Colombia) won me over: Maybe I’m inherently lazy and I liked the easy solution to an afternoon office cup of coffee.  My work’s coffee is horrible.  I’m a little bit less enthusiastic about the Iced Via.  And as of today, we get “flavored Via”.  I think it will definitely appeal to a distinct niche of customers.  Right now, Caramel is my favorite flavor, but that is subject to change!

Howard Schultz (Starbucks CEO) tells partners to share Flavored Via “honestly, with humility” and “with enthusiasm” all in almost one long sentence. It’s all do-able. If I were a barista, I would have no problem recommending flavored Via to my customers. I would love to hear how the Via launch day is going for others.

And on a completely new topic, Andrew who produces the “Starbucks Passion” blog, did a short email interview of me, for those of you who are interested.