Starbucks Refreshers in a can – an early peek at the Strawberry Lemonade flavor

by Melody on July 8, 2011

Starbucks is testing Refreshers in a can!  You may recall that I have written about Refreshers twice before on this blog:

Refreshers – Very Berry and Cool Lime flavors being tested in San Diego

Refreshers – Strawberry Citrus and Orange Mango flavors being tested in Washington State.

I really like the Refreshers.  So far, my favorite has been the Cool Lime version that was tested in San Diego in July and August of 2010.  The hallmark of the Refreshers lineup of beverages is that they include an unroasted green coffee in them.  The flavor, in my humble opinion, is a little heavier than a tea but not quite a juice-type flavor. They’re light and refreshing.

It’s clear that Starbucks wants to do something wonderful with this innovation.  I’ve heard that these beverages were also briefly tested in a small area of Chicago too, but I never had enough information to turn that into a blog post.

The new round of testing begins soon, and so here’s the early look:  Arizona will be receiving a CPG version of the drink.  (CPG stands for “consumer packaged goods” and it includes beverages that are ready to drink, and could be sold in a grocery store or in the refrigerated case at a Starbucks.  The bottled Frappuccinos and canned Double Shot beverages are examples of CPG products.)  I think that only Arizona gets the canned versions.

There are three flavors scheduled to be released as canned Refreshers, however I only have the photos of the Strawberry Lemonade.  The scheduled flavors are as follows:

  1. Strawberry Lemonade
  2. Orange Melon
  3. Raspberry Pomegranate

A close look at the can makes it look like the CPG version of Refreshers is a flavor similar to a version I tried in Washington: Strawberry Citrus.  The Strawberry Citrus drink that I tried previously did indeed have some lemonade-like flavor to it too, so it does sound like a similar drink to this canned “Strawberry Lemonade” Refresher.

I don’t have any review of the Strawberry Lemonade canned product yet;  I only have these photos but I wanted to share them.

This won’t be the last time that I write about Refreshers.  I have heard that starting on July 12, 2011, the Cool Lime flavor of Refreshers will be launching in Southern California.  I am very excited about this.  I might fly down and try the Cool Lime Refresher again.  My final thought:  I really hope the Refreshers do launch nationwide!  I’d like to see the Very Berry and Cool Lime launch! Delicious!

The pictures below come from a trusted source, so I wanted to share what the can looks like.  As I mentioned above, for sure I will be writing about Refreshers at some point again in this blog.

Please weigh in!  Have you tried these?

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

GAStarbucksGirl July 8, 2011 at 5:37 am

Sounds delightfully refreshing :) LOVE to hear about test market stuff!

Donna July 8, 2011 at 5:58 am

sounds good, have not seen them in the NY tri state area, although my local
Starbucks is promoting a drink called a Sangria which is iced coffee mixed with the lemonade and
something else i don’t remember, but since I drink my iced coffee with milk I did
not try it. Maybe today as it is very hot and humid here. I Miss Tribute blend anyone have any suggestions for other similar blends

Melody July 8, 2011 at 6:08 am

@Gastarbucksgirl – Me too! @Donna – Wow! That sounds like another test product! Right now Starbucks is testing a number of things. I wish I could fly around and get to them all, but that’s not possible for lots of reasons! I know of tests in South Carolina, and Sacramento too. I might fly down to Sacramento soon. I can’t give too much away about that one. Donna, if you have any pics of the “Sangria” beverage at Starbucks or anything you’d want to share with me, I’d be forever thankful!

purple1 July 8, 2011 at 6:27 am

Have to look if the Sangria is in my area. I tend to not like canned drinks, but in a rush it certainly would be good. I often wonder about all the ingredients in these drinks.

elly July 8, 2011 at 7:02 am

i agree with purple1, in that i generally do not enjoy canned drinks. i think i pick up a lot of the flavour of the can itself. if they put these in bottles, or came up with a way to serve it in shop, i’d likely go for it though, because they sound potentially very yummy :)

Diele July 8, 2011 at 8:25 am

I have tried the strawberry lemonade and orange melon; personally not a big fan but I am also spoiled having tried the barista prepared refreshers which launch in Arizona this Tuesday. I will be sending each flavor to you Melody to try, but I have to wait until they launch. Sorry!

Diele July 8, 2011 at 8:29 am

I forgot to say the promotional materials state that the rtd items will only be available in the Arizona market, but will be available at Target and a couple other select retailers. Arizona is also testing two flavors of refreshers cool lime and very berry hibiscus which are complete with real fruit pieces! Very exciting time for my market as we also will have the new iced caramel via, new iced coffee, and new bistro boxes(partner samples just came in yesterday and I hear they are delightful- I hate food allergies!).

camspi July 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Love it! Our CPG team is amazing!

BCav July 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm

These look awesome! I keep mentioning your “Refreshers” blog posts to customers almost daily as our topic at work as of late seems to be “Starbucks’ next big hit”. I can’t wait to try them!

denise r July 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm

look ‘refreshing’ and interested in trying. am betting on preferring the lime for myself.
very pretty can. don’t know if we’ll see them tho…..

also, I would’ve rather had the return of tazoberry ‘n cream, made only in the cafes, than a new canned anything. too far removing from the bar (this trend of grocery products)
but, if they show up around here, I will defintiely try them.

French Bean July 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Mmm. That does sound like a yummy drink. I could really use the lemon flavored drink, for that matter; I got food poisoning and have been chugging down Sprite and Gatorade by the bottle. :-P

Carissa Dunphy July 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Heaven! Sure hope they come up to Seattle, one would think so! Thanks for the heads up!

TheRootinator July 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Does anybody know how these drinks are made behind the bar? I’m really intrigued about how it all goes down. Either way, this is a really clever idea. It’s also potentially cheaper, since Starbucks doesn’t have to pay for roasting the beans for these drinks. I can’t wait to try it!

Diele July 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm

We have a refresher fruit base just like the boxes of strawberry and orange mango. We use the tea shakers to measure to the first line(just like any iced tea), then water to the second line, add ice, add a scoop of blackberries or slices of lime, add the top and shake to perfection(must be shaken 10 times to rehydrate the freezedried fruit).

Karl Dahlquist July 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Well, now you know why the coffee was taken off the new logo!

I see the North American Coffee Partnership information on the back of the can indicating Pepsi’s involvement. (As with all the canned and bottled drinks)

Melody July 11, 2011 at 6:34 am

I tweeted this this morning but I’ll throw the question out here too – Has anyone here tried the iced Starbucks Vietnamese Coffee? I’m referring to the test beverage item in a few stores in San Diego only…

Karl Dahlquist July 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm

They rolled out Trenta Refreshers in L.A…. I had a sample of the Lime flavor and it reminded of me of something from my childhood….(menthol cigarettes?) I am still trying to figure it out, but it wasnt a pleasant taste memory!

Then I argued with the Barista over the coffee content.

Tanya July 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I’m drinking a Very Berry as I type this. I live in San Diego and had one last year. I was sad to see that it wasn’t available anymore. I’m glad they brought them back and hopefully they’ll be a permanent item on the menu.

CABarista July 15, 2011 at 7:26 pm

@Donna if you love Tribute (and who didn’t?) I’d suggest Verona or Yukon. Not identical, but you will enjoy them.
Very interesting to learn more about how the refreshers are made in cafes! When I saw the new promo weeks ago I was surprised to see (pleasantly!) that it showed refreshers for cafes who were testing it.

Hayley July 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm

I tried a sample of the Cool Lime Refresher this morning…I was not a fan. Maybe it was too early in the morning for it, so I didn’t need refreshed as much as I needed caffeinated at the time.
I know they are made with green coffee but it really tasted kind of like tea to me. I will try the other flavors. I’m not really a big lime fan anyway…and maybe they’re still perfecting making them since the Refreshers are so new at that store.

SanDiegoBarista July 24, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Hi Melody, I’m a bit late in reading this post, but I wanted to answer your question about Starbucks Vietnamese Iced Coffee. It’s not on the test item menu on the register, but it has long been one of those “off the menu” drinks that baristas have taught each other. In our market we actually get far more customer requests for this drink than say, tuxedo mochas or Cap’n Crunch frappuccinos. While nothing can beat the taste of authentic Vietnamese iced coffee, a Starbucks version that actually tastes pretty decent can be made: in an iced cup, shots of espresso are poured on top of white mocha syrup and swirled to mix; a scoop of ice is then added and the cup is either shaken or swirled to melt the ice; ice and cold filtered water keeps getting added this way until the cup is full. It’s notable for the sweet, creamy taste of white chocolate while maintaining the roasty caramel flavor of espresso – an excellent combination of bitter and sweet. Perfect pastry to go with it would absolutely be a cheese danish.

Diele July 25, 2011 at 5:29 am

It sounds like a white mocha americano, which we have tons of people ordering at all the stores I worked at.

jenn November 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Starbucks Refreshers in the can are amazing! where can i get a case?

hamid March 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm

where can i buy these starbucks refreshers?

Melody March 5, 2012 at 10:06 pm

@Hamid – Try Safeway. I am hearing from a number of people that the canned Refreshers are showing up on grocery store shelves all over the US. One reader in Chicago mentioned that they’re there, and I saw a tweet about them being available in the West Seattle Safeway. They’re definitely in Arizona. Since they’re now showing up at grocery stores all over, I say go to your local Safeway, or Albertson, or QFC, or wherever it is that you grocery shop.

Diele March 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Glad they are expanding. Maybe it is a sign of refreshers launching?

Melody March 6, 2012 at 7:13 am

@Diele – It sure looks like the canned Refreshers have just launched nationally. I like the freshly made ones better – The canned ones are a bit like an energy drink. But I still will definitely by them! I am scouting grocery stores around here for them. ;) (Though not likely I’ll go all the way to West Seattle for them…)

Rebecca March 6, 2012 at 9:14 am

There’s a new printable coupon for the Starbucks Refreshers if you’re looking to buy it at the grocery/drug store.

Rebecca March 6, 2012 at 9:17 am

There’s a new printable coupon on the Starbucks site for $1 off a can if you’re looking to buy it at the grocery/drug store.

TIM SANDOR March 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm

are these available nationwide now?

Melody March 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm

@Tim – Let us know if you find these Refreshers in your local grocery store. Between twitter, and this blog, I’m hearing them popping up all over the place. They’re finally in Seattle now!

Judi July 6, 2012 at 11:46 am

They are advertising Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawverry Lemonade and Orange Melon n the Madison, WI market now. Have not tried one yet. Went to the Starbuck website to see ingredients which they say are not available and to go to the vendor to check out the can.

BCav July 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I am seriously addicted to these things. My manager had to have a conversation with me because I kept purchasing most of the case we’d get in, leaving nothing for the customers. I’m so greedy sometimes! But in my opinion, these are the best thing Starbucks has introduced to me since the Cinnamon Dolce Latte and the smoothies. <3

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