It seems that a little market research was all it took for Starbucks to release it's newest and lightest coffee yet: the Blonde Roast. It's a personal favorite of mine.
Jeff Hansberry, president of Channel Development for Starbucks said in a press release that "Starbucks® Blonde Roast is our answer to providing a premium lighter roast coffee to appeal to those who describe Starbucks® signature roast as too intense. This new roast profile will allow us to increase our share of the brewed coffee market down the grocery aisle where a majority of coffee sales are in the light and medium roast categories. This segment of the market represents a $1 billion opportunity for the company in the U.S. alone."
Market research by Starbucks has shown that shoppers spend around 60 seconds making a decision about what coffee to buy while standing in the coffee aisle at the grocery store. Market research by Starbucks has also shown that about 25 percent of the shoppers who have been shopping for coffee leave the coffee aisle without making a coffee purchase.
Shoppers that ultimately give up on their search for coffee have given in market research several reasons as to why they do this: because the coffee isle of their grocery store is too confusing, or because they are just not able to find the type of coffee they are looking for at the time. After conducting this research, Starbucks' moved towards a strategy to package by roast type: dark, medium, and blonde. Starbucks' new system for packing coffees by roast type will be a benefit to those coffee shoppers who have been hindered by the confusing and often large selection of coffees, the qualities of which have been largely obscured -- until now.
Go pick up Starbucks Blonde Roast today. It's great, even if you like darker roasts, I still suggest trying it!