NEW: Starbucks bottled Iced Coffee: now at your grocery store.

I dropped by the Safeway at East John and 15th in Seattle today (February 24, 2013), and stumbled upon the new Starbucks bottled iced coffees.  There are four flavors:

  • vanilla flavor
  • regular iced coffee and milk
  • low calorie iced coffee and milk
  • and a caramel iced coffee (offered in the North East region only)

The Safeway I was at didn’t have the caramel one.  So I decided to grab  a bottle iced coffee and try it.  I picked out the Vanilla Starbucks Iced Coffee, and quickly drank the whole thing.  It was delicious.  It has a lot of vanilla flavor and was pretty sweet.  I would definitely get it again.

Look for these at your local grocery store and/or other retailers selling ready-to-drink beverages.

I will say, I noticed one thing about the packaging that looked confusing to me:

The “low calorie” version of this drink has the blue packaging.  I picked up a couple of times thinking, “Is that decaf?”  It’s not uncommon that decaf packaging has blue colors signalling that it is decaf.  Of course, it’s pretty easy to read the bottles, but I can imagine that there will be at least a few people who grab at the blue bottle thinking it’s the decaf version of iced coffee.  Sure, some readers will say that couldn’t possibly happen, but some people just grab at things expecting the packaging to scream what it is.

I turned the three iced coffee bottles around to take a picture of their nutrition facts, for those readers who are interested:

As I was walking out of the Safeway, I dropped by the licensed Starbucks location inside the store.  A Seattle coffee mug caught my eye.  Maybe this “You Are Here” collection of mugs is in every store, but this is the first time I noticed it.  The Seattle “You Are Here” mug design reminded me of the artwork on the 2011 Seattle collectible card.  I will have to be on the look out for more mugs in this series!

And last but not least, a brown grande-size tumbler also available at the licensed Starbucks caught my eye.  I noticed it says, “Made in the USA” on it.  I know so many people are wanting to see more “Made in the USA” products at Starbucks, and I am indeed noticing it more and more often.

I bought the Seattle mug and the Vanilla Iced Coffee at the Starbucks kiosk inside the store.  I will say that the barista was very friendly.  If you are wondering, the mug was about $10 or $11, as I recall.

That’s it.  That’s my Starbucks experience inside a Safeway!  This is an OPEN thread.  Talk about anything Starbucks-related.  I realize that is has been a long time since I’ve designated a thread as an “open” thread, so here is one, finally!




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  • purple1

    Melody the iced coffee drinks are they located in the refrigerated case of Safeway? Is this a regional distribution? We do not have any Safeway stores here. I do like the mug you saw. My local SB has such an uneven inventory of gift cards and mugs which always confuses me because I know at least the gift cards would sell. Since this is an open thread thought I would mention that I was having a discussion with the ASM this morning and she said re taking photos in the store- she told me that you can take photos but not of partners!

  • theatrenut

    At first, I thought it was a tall can with a jar of baby food sitting on top.

    Seems the light Doubleshots aren’t in stores around here anymore (the short ones). Target used to sell them by the 4-pack, too, but haven’t for a long time. Maybe they’re only making the regular now. It’s the only canned coffee drink I’ve ever liked, but I will try the new low calorie coffee and milk.

  • Melody

    @Purple1 – It’s a grocery store item, so it should be available at major grocers everywhere. I actually found it in a separate area of cold items – with the stand alone Pespsi type stuff.

    From a legal perspective, when you’re in a coffeehouse, you’re kind of in a public place, so partners (and customers) may not have all the protections they want. But it’s complex, and not a simple answer. There is no black and white answer. It kind of depends how you’re using the picture, and whether a person is merely incidentally in it, and much more … But the ASM makes me cringe a bit. Very concrete and not exactly right. And certainly, if the partner wants their photo taken, that changes everything. It’s just not black and white. There might be times the answer is “no” – depending ….

  • Melody

    @Theatrenut – I can see that! There is something odd about the packaging. Can’t quite put my finger on it.

  • purple1

    Melody I agree with both comments about the packaging of the iced coffees. It almost seems like it is two separate bottles. From a design perspective, I think they made a mistake. Re the photos- The partners at my local store are good, very good and just awful and I seem to get all sorts of different responses depending on the partner, time of day, and the discussion. But, it still amazes me that they lack such direct and correct info. I guess that goes to the chain of communication established.

  • Momiji

    YES, it looks like a baby food jar on top!! Had to triple check your pic to make sure it was coffee. LOL

  • Sandra Trolinger

    I probably won’t be trying them but yes the packaging looks odd. What was the cost for one bottle, Melody?

  • Becky E

    The iced coffees are starting to show up here in central Indiana but no caramel flavor. The starbucks store I was in yesterday looked very depleted of everything. Time for some new merchandise, the winter stuff that is still there is looking tired. I wish that Starbucks would put the mocha powder back in the stores. I hate having to order it online and to pay shipping costs too. Plus I had a run in with my UPS man when he brought my last order. He actually gave me a hard time for buying from Starbucks because “they don’t support the troops”. I was shocked that this person had the nerve to actually question anything that I was having him deliver. I’d rather just buy stuff in my local store.

  • KDH

    I didn’t see the caramel in NW IN, either.

    I usually associate the blue color with low-cal on bottled Starbucks drinks because the bottled Frappuccinos are labeled the same way. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bottled decaf Starbucks drink…

    The partners at my store really liked the bottled vanilla iced coffee. I would definitely buy this again.

    I agree that the bottle looks really odd. However, even if people don’t like the design it certainly stands out.

  • denise r

    Agree with all comments re: bottle looks a little weird. Why the seemingly unnecessary different piece on top? Looks more like there is something to be added, to me. (like in some yogurts?)

    and, oh funny. I had the Chicago version of the “you are here” collection just last Thursday in my hand. First time I’d sen it. Kept going back and forth whether to buy or not because every now and then I think: the one city mug that I don’t have is the one where I was born and grew up…Chicago. So, I keep intending to get one. But, this new collection, altho it has the ‘el’ and looks a little more like the Chicago card, really just a bit drab and somehow lacking. So, I didn’t get it. But, keep thinking of it which usually means I will end up getting it sooner than later.
    Have not seen…nor looked for the bottled coffee yet. I see what you mean about the decaf…but the lt blue color is also used for non-fat milk here, in most stores. (by the gallon, I mean)

  • Melody

    @KDH – I should’ve noticed this before! The official fact sheet on the bottled iced coffees says that the caramel flavor is offered in the NE region only.

    I think of blue and decaf Christmas Blend. In any case, it takes two seconds to read what’s on the bottle and hopefully 99% of customers will take a moment to see which bottle they’re grabbing. I hadn’t thought about the bottled Frappuccino – good point, and thank you for mentioning it.

    @purple1 – The general rule at Starbucks is personal photography is okay. Video is not okay. I cuold go on and on and write a blog post on the nuances of that.

  • Hayley

    Wow good find, Melody! I have to say that these bottles look incredibly awkward to me though. I wonder how they taste in comparison to the bottled Frappuccinos. Any thoughts?

  • KDH

    More like sweetened iced coffee with cream; less thick than an iced latte.

  • Dave Wakeman

    This is more a question about another new product that this blog post reminded me of, but do we have any idea how the new reusable plastic cups are doing?

  • Chgo.

    Purple1 – I’m not sure if you mentioned where you live in the past, but you don’t even have a Safeway owned store locally under one of their many other corporate owned store chains like – Dominicks, Carrs, Vons, Randalls, Pavillion, Pak n Save., Tom Thumb or Simon David? My wife works for Dominicks and I’m sure I seen them yesterday, but I’m not sure if I saw them by the refrigerated section or the Licensed Starbucks in the store.

    Regarding photo’s and video. I’m pretty sure they really can’t stop somebody from doing either. Within my employment, it happens everyday. The media can photograph and video you without any permission. The only thing I am sure of, is that employees can be restricted from talking to people taking pictures and video, especially if the person is asking questions. That is when the employee would be obligated to direct you to talk to a supervisor or a media affairs person within the company. But I don’t think they have a right to stop you from taking pics or video. I wouldn’t want it done to me without permission, but it happens everyday within my job, and in many cases it’s used against the person in regards to their job. It’s perfectly legal in every case I have seen, but I’m not a lawyer.

  • Chgo.

    @Denise – I don’t want to go OT, but I hope all works out with the car.

  • anon

    speaking of safeway–i was very pleasantly surprised to go into the sbux in one last weekend and discover that:

    a) they took my registered card as payment

    b) my purchase showed up in my rewards profile

    c) i had a $1 off register coupon from a corporate store, and the safeway franchise took it.

    with all the problems with the registered card program at non corporate stores, this was quite nice to see. now, if only the latte had been better; kinda watery….

  • Melody

    On my phone, sorry so short. A transmission is expensive! Hoping for the best Denise.

  • Purple1

    Chgo. There are no Safeway stores under any of those names by me. Next time I go food shopping will have to see if they are in my stores. Melody are these drinks only going to be in supermarkets? Not at all in store?

  • Laura

    I saw these new drinks in Target yesterday. So, it is not just a Safeway thing.

  • Chgo.

    @anon – I believe in order to get a star toward your reward for your transaction at Safeway, you must use your registered Starbucks Card along with your Safeway card. That’s the way it works at Dominicks / Safeway anyway…..

  • anon

    @Chgo–that’s what i thought too (too late; i have a safeway card but forgot to use it. ooopsie) but when i checked the website, it showed up in my history.

  • Andrea

    Oh… I found them at my local Winco (South Puget Sound)- all were attached with a $1.00 off coupon! Made it a whopping48 cents to try it! (limit one coupon per visit- DOH!) I got the Vanilla and it was good- I live so close to my favorite SB I don’t normally get the bottled stuff. But this was a good substitute. Great idea to bring them out before the warmer season… Bottle is sorta a weird shape- kinda to begging to be altered!

  • Melody

    @Chgo – I was pretty sure you could earn a star at Safeway without having a Safeway Club Card. In fact, Safeway is not where I usually shop, and so I don’t have one at all. I think I did get one star from that transaction with the mug and vanilla iced bottled coffee.

    By the way, I think the bottled iced drink was just under $2, but I’ve already tossed out the receipt.

  • Chgo.

    @Melody – I’m only going by what my wife told me, who works for Safeway owned Dominicks. She could be wrong. Or – Maybe there are different rules depending on which chain they are operating under with their cards. I think…. I’m not sure…. But I think Safeway employees get their drinks for $1, and still get a star. But don’t quote me on that perk. I’m not sure. I stay out of Licensed Locations.

  • Laily

    Can’t wait to try it, the Vanilla & Caramel. @Andrea- That’s an awesome deal! I would’ve went back w/ a different disguise each time, if I had to, & stock up, LoL. Btw, not related, but for those, like me, who is missing the seasonal Caramel Brûlée Latte: I’m currently sitting in a Starbucks (1 I’ve never been to before) & thought if I add a pump of Toffee-Nut syrup to my usual Caramel Macchiato, it might taste more like a Caramel Brûlée, and I was right! They were out of CB Sauce, but still had the topping. Since I bought a jug of the sauce from eBay (at a hefty price), I asked them if I could buy their half empty (I guess I am negative, lol) bottle of topping to complete my at-home Caramel Brûlée Lattes, but the guy said no. He gave me a little in a short cup, I was grateful, but still asked why they needed it if the sauce was gone… He said incase customers ask for it… Grrrr. Well, I’m asking for it, & you just missed a great tip mister! Haha.

  • Melody

    @Chgo – You bring up great points. It probably is time to do a whole ‘nother blog article on the Starbucks photo policy. I know that from the perspective of Starbucks, if baristas are approached by media, you’re right, they should have PR permission to say much more than, “My favorite coffee is …” You can get it away with some minor discussion with the media. But obviously, when I did this, there was in fact a PR person sitting right next to us:

    It still flowed like a real conversation, and the Starbucks PR person really did not steer or influence the conversation, but she did have to be there.

    And so “personal photography” is allowed in stores, but there’s almost no way to figure out what is personal photography! And technically, the rule is no video taping, but I see partners video taping all the time! There is a you tube profile, “5 Awesome baristas” and they do video in stores often.

    The whole thing is very ambiguous, and when I get the time to write 500 words on it, it will be another blog article again.

    This article clearly states the current Starbucks photo policy –

  • Tim

    @Melody-@Chgo—– About Licensed store, a major event is happening regarding Starbucks Licensed/Foodservice/Kiosk/ and SBC units. On March 4th the Starbucks-level responsibility of such units will transfer to something called ” Branded Solutions” ran by the former Consumer Products Group.

    One of the changes is QASA standards will now be across the entire ” Branded Solutions” store base.
    One thing I notice at my closest Target is with the remodel to the ”P-fresh” format they adding a Licensed Starbucks that looks totally different than every other Licensed Starbucks at Target I seen.

    Under the previous design in front of checkout there was Food counter stand that had a PizzaHut Express along with popcorn,hotdogs .The following step you take would be Starbucks merchandise that would have Whole Bean,VIA,tumblers ,and then you cross the comer into the actual Starbucks location itself.

    The seating for the Food counter stand was the Starbucks location itself full of overwhelming red.
    With the new design, the Starbucks location is isolated from the rest of the store,and from the redesign Food bar(aka ”Target Cafe”) despite (from the looks) continuing the element of share the backroom.The new design has its own seating for Starbucks, and separate seating for the Target Food offerings.

    Also there no more Red ”Tarbucks” look at all,lots of wood surfaces that many newer Company-operated store have , and no cheap plastic tables that felt more home in a McDonald’s than Starbucks.Other changes is the full-size traditional brewed coffee station rather than the small Bunn Coffee Airpots,and the Warming Oven which I haven’t seen before in a licensed Starbucks store.

    The only negatives that I can point to is at this point just one Espresso Machine, and one blender. Hopefully this location don’t attempt to have one employee working trying to do everything at once which are the biggest problem I seen with Target running locations, and is a personal turnoff every time.

  • purple1

    I have been getting the Trenta size drink of iced green tea which I slowly drink all day. Anyway, has anyone that gets this size notice that the lid for this size is almost impossible to put on the cup? Partners have been so frustrated with this. I think this size is sort of popular so why can’t they get a lid to fit the cup?

  • denise r

    fyi re: price. Just got one of the new ‘bottled coffees’ in the non-refrig. section at Target today and they were $1.99. Looking at them in my hand, I can’t see any reason for the weird shape of the bottle. Have not tasted this yet but can’t see buying them very often because it’s not a complicated drink, if I wanted cold coffee and milk with a little sweetner I could easily do that at home with coffee that I brew in the morning. Otherwise, I always keep a few cans of (the larger ones) the doubleshot, mocha or coffee, on hand. To be accurate I guess I should say ‘doubleshot plus energy’. But this new one? I won’t have a need for.

  • Purple1

    It seems like the reviews for this new drink are mixed. With that in mind, I wonder why SB introduced this new product? I doubt there is a strong desire by customers for this kind of drink?

  • Chgo.

    @Tim – I’ve seen these remodels popping up at Target, and some Target stores have eliminated the hot dogs, popcorn and Pizza Hut altogether. All that is left is a remodeled Starbucks. I know of one case where it wasn’t a remodel because the Target is rather new, but you have to walk through the Starbucks to get to the rest of the food they sell. My bet is that over time, they will eliminate the hot dogs and popcorn at that location also. I honestly can say that the Target locations, look clean and are operated better than other Licensee’s. I also noticed the Target remodels have a more Corporate Store look to them. The Kiosks at OHare are rather blahh! However… Last year, Starbucks opened a much larger store in Terminal 3 (airside) at OHare. It too looks like a Corporate Starbucks. They did a nice job, but I have yet to buy coffee at that location. I guess I have had bad luck at OHare, and my opinion of the HMS Host locations were never favorable. I would welcome any change as you mention.

  • Ling

    I’d definitely have to try these. And you’re right about the blue labels for the low-cal version. I’m so used to K-cups decaf blue labels that I might just take these as decaf too. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Krystin

    Thanks for this post! The low calorie iced coffee and milk seems to have really good nutrition stats which makes me excited to try it! I don’t buy their bottled grocery store products because they are so high in sugar, carbs and calories. I hope they have them in Dallas!

  • denise r

    Well, here’s my ‘review’ of the light version of the bottled coffee: it was nearly tasteless, and very sweet. (and that was the lightly sweetened 60cal? bottle). I guess for people who load their coffee with cream and sugar, it might be ok. But I barely tasted any coffee, just extremely sweet. Big fail for me.

  • Ben

    I tried the Vanilla version that I found in Kroger and thought it was pretty good, and it had a good balance of sweetener to coffee. I might occasionally buy a bottle or two, though iced coffees (the occasional iced macchiato aside) aren’t my thing, but thought it was fairly good. Wish they’d expand the caramel version outside New England.

  • Laily Haikal

    An update on the new Iced Coffees: Walgreens has them on sale this week for .99¢ (w/ rewards card) & they also give you back the .99¢ in the form of a Register Reward. Great deal, I would’ve stocked up regardless of the credit back. Have to go back for more, they only had 6 left during that visit. I’m still surprised at the fact of how bland & flavorless the Vanilla was. I always choose Vanilla over the Regular flavor (Coffee + Milk), but this specific, new Vanilla Iced Coffee just needs more coffee in it (this coming from a girl who likes coffee w/ her cream & sugar)!

  • Amanda C

    I tried the vanilla coffee last night, and I must say that I took two sips and couldn’t handle anymore. It tasted horrible, with no coffee flavor at all. It tasted too watered down. For $2.49 I would have rather had an iced coffee from dunkin donuts or even mcdonalds. I definitely will not buy another one of these.

  • Lm

    Do you know if the bottled iced coffee with milk Needs to be refrigerated before being opened? I know this might sound like a silly question, but this was delivered to me by Safeway by accident, and it was with non-refrigerated items. Neither the Starbucks box it came in or the bottle say “Keep Refrigerated”, rather, it only says on the lid that if you aren’t Finished to refrigerate it. Given this, I imagine it is kept refrigerated at the store because people want to drink it cold. But I do want to make sure it’s safe before I give it to a friend tomorrow who drinks Starbucks. I could not get this info off of their official website, or anywhere else on the web for that matter!

  • Laily

    @ Lm – I’ve bought them from both sections before; a refrigerated case and a regular display stand. Theses Iced Coffees (like the bottled “Frappuccinos”) are shelf stable, but they should be served chilled or over ice. When something doesn’t say “Keep Refrigerated” but rather “Refrigerate After Opening”, I take that to mean it can stay at room temp. until opened. Hope your friend enjoys it. =)

  • Marsh

    Currently there is a supermarket shakeup in Canada. Safeway sold its’ Canadian division to Sobeys. As far as I know Starbucks only operates icensed concept stores at Safeway and Target in Canada. So I am wondering if Sobeys bannered stores will be getting Starbucks kiosks or if the licensed concept stores that have been in Canada Safeway are going away. Also some Safeways are having to be sold to grocers like Save-On-Foods so is Starbucks going to let those licensed concept stores stay?

  • Jillian

    My pet peeve with this is… I live in AZ and they had the caramel flavor forever at first… I HATE vanilla flavored iced anything. I wish they had a mocha, but caramel was close enough as I was trying to quit the sugar loaded bottled frappuccinos, lol, and all of a sudden after a few months the caramel stopped and I cant find it Anywhere. Back to the fraps.

  • Susie

    Do these have to be refrigerated? I left one in my backpack for like 6-8 hrs and then put in back in refrig. Is it still safe? Is the milk pasteruized?

  • Marisa P.

    I love the bottled Starbucks Iced Coffee with Milk. I sometimes have a craving for this drink especially when I’m out doing shopping or errands. It doesn’t need refrigeration until opened. It tastes great at room temp or chilled in my opinion. I’m sad because now my Safeway in Mililani, Hawaii only has the Black Unsweetened bottles that I don’t like. The Iced Coffee with Milk is now hard to find for some reason. So, if you see it drink one for me! Costco used to sell them in packs but can’t find it there now. I see the Frappucinos for sale in many places-I really dislike these because it’s too milky and sweet. I never buy this.

  • Marisa P.

    Today I went searching for Starbucks Iced Coffee with Milk (with the brown cap) at CVS Longs in Haleiwa and Walgreens in Wahiawa. Both stores said its up to vendors which products get stocked on shelves. Both said the item I want is probably not a good seller or not being produced anymore by Starbucks. Does anyone know how to get information on this?

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