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Via Starbucks

29 Comments

Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz shows off the new Via brand instant coffee products in Tokyo. Starbucks on Wednesday started selling Via at its 870 stores in Japan and will eventually expand distribution to grocery shops and other retail channels. Schultz said Starbucks has made subtle changes to tailor Via for Japan: The suggested serving size is smaller than in the U.S. because Japanese don't drink as much in one sitting, and it used a check mark on the packaging instead of "X" on packages in the U.S. because "X" has a negative connotation in Japan. A box of three Via sticks costs 300 yen, or 100 yen per cup. A box of 12 sticks will sell for 1,000 yen. It comes in two flavors -- Colombia and Italian roast.

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29 Comments
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“X” has a negative connotation in Japan....? Wow that is funny seeing as X covers a lot of markets and is a good chunk of their GDP.... I could of swore they love this romanji letter.

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Someone bring this dude to a conbini.

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Does this guy think he is Steve Jobs or something ? What's with the 'Apple Mac conference' headset ?

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If he cares so much about X and check mark, how about the name Via, Japanese people cannot pronounce V, so the name is Bia??? Same as beer?

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northlondon - it's the earpiece of a simultaneous interpreting set, so he can understand any Japanese questions from the locals...

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@LoveUSA-LOL! Good Point. Cheers!

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LoveUSA and Gurukun - you don't speak a word of Japanese do you? Beer certainly isn't "bia" over here. Facepalms all round.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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A foreign conglomerate resorting to local Japanese gimmickry, proof that Excelsior isn't doing bad at all.

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Starbucks is much better in Japan than in the US.

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Don't you just love that money smile,money from ear to ear. Starbucks is way overpriced,and now they find a way to take more money of the starbucks coffee lovers,suckers.

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'Via' is not a good name for Japan, there are pronunciation problems plus nobody knows that it means street. Even in the program, I thought they were talking about beer since I wasn't really watching. They should have called in 'doro' in Japan but then maybe nobody would buy it or play around with it and call it 'd'oro'.

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Sorry can't stand Starbucks over priced: difference between a tall Cappuccino and Grande "more milk" and this stuff: go to a "combini" and you can find 3 instant cappuccino sticks with cup for less. Give me Doutor any day over Starbucks stronger coffee lower price and great hot sandwiches.

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starbucks is just no unnecessary period, they are a plague on the landscapes of the world & the fools who venture inside get fleeced, thank goodness there are still place when you can just buy a straight coffee & leave all the crap put haha

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Nice conservative suit. But he should lose the headset.

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Someone ask Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz why, when you buy a Starbucks pre-paid card in Japan, register it in Japan, and lose it in Japan, you can't get the balance transferred to another card like you can in the US. I'm out about $200 of Venti Soy Mochas because of that.

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haha why on earth wud you put $200 on a coffee card

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This photo proves one important point - American men represented by Chief Executive H. Schultz have no idea how to select their ties to make themselves desirable by the opposite sex. Japanese men win all the way.

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haha why on earth wud you put $200 on a coffee card

recent researches found out that coffee prevents prostate cancer

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OK $200 on coffee I can get, but "Soy" in coffee is not coffee, espresso, cappuccino those are coffee and hot only (well maybe a little Grappa in it is OK)

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It was a birthday present for me. Soy doesn't seem to make me as fat as the regular milk.

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gamera at 02:49 PM JST - 14th April Starbucks is much better in Japan than in the US.

Wrong. As a matter of fact, except for a few variation on the menus, Starbucks in Japan, like McDonalds, is identical - same training, same U.S. supply chain.

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Foxie at 03:16 PM JST - 14th April 'Via' is not a good name for Japan, there are pronunciation problems plus nobody knows that it means street.

You're the second person to make this non-point. Tell that to all the lovers of VSOP brandies. In Japan, more so in the U.S., image is everything in advertising in Japan. Pair the right talento and you could sell dog feces in Japan.

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Japan startbucks is better than US starbucks - Japan had the "Muddlers" way before the US even thought about having them. As for Instant COffee - my goodness. Starbucks went from, "WHY would anyone get instant coffee?" to, "hey look, we now offer instant coffee!".... as long as stocks keep going up, I'll be happy, I guess ;-)

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Odd, he looks a little bit like Nicolas Cage

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starbucks needs to train all of their nihonjin employees how to steam milk. Japan may have america beat where it counts. Technology, smart development, and an almost gun free democratic order; however, america has the upper hand in making cappuccinos...woot...woot...

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1 dollar per cup of coffee without opening a starbucks outlet.. smart move

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There's one thing about Starbucks that is question mark to me: why Americans don't like the brand, while the rest of the world sees Starbucks as a good coffee, reasonably priced for the chic-atmosphere inside their shops. However, I heard they have 20 shops in Brazil now, I visited one in Sao Paulo and their service is much better than in NY or Chigaco. I guess Starbucks US staff needs some training on how to be nice to customers. My 2 cents.

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"Odd, he looks a little bit like Nicolas Cage"

Hardly ! "Ernest" maybe- Nicolas ? Never !

Various thoughts and observations on this;

-This will never sell in Japan- not in todays economy. One can get free refills of fresh brewed at various fast food chains and other outlets. Japanese people still go out to be seen in such places- this is more for the "grab and go" set who will suck from the straw of a combini "Rainier" than "mix their own" at the office.

-I had to laugh at the "cultural" sensitivity on display here;

"The suggested serving size is smaller than in the U.S. because Japanese don’t drink as much in one sitting"

I'd say the packages are smaller for marketing and pricing reasons ! The Americans rank 26th is terms of coffee consumption per capita- well below Canada who comes in at #11, and 3 times less than the #1 consumer- Finland !

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lostinnagoya-

"I visited one in Sao Paulo and their service is much better than in NY or Chigaco. I guess Starbucks US staff needs some training on how to be nice to customers."

I'd say Starbucks staff in NY and Chicago need some training- I have yet to experience anything but excellent service from Starbucks here in my area of the US- and they let me eat food purchased from outside the store also- something I couldn't do in Japan.

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