Starbucks Offers Bean-Back Guarantee on Instant Coffee

In an attempt to boost sales of its packaged products, Starbucks (SBUX) on Tuesday said it would give away a free 12-ounce bag of its ground house-blend coffee to any customer not satisfied with its Via instant coffee during the next seven months.

Starbucks, the world's largest coffee-shop chain, has sold $135 million worth of Via coffee since launching the brand in September 2009. It sells the instant coffee at more than 50,000 retail outlets worldwide, charging $9.95 for a 12-serving bag of its Via French Roast. Its guarantee, which applies to all five of its Via variations, expires at the end of August.

The company last week posted first-quarter earnings that jumped 44% to $346.6 million on revenue that grew 8% to $3 billion. Its revenue from consumer products rose 12% from a year earlier to $195.2 million.

Starbucks aims to augment its U.S. in-store coffee-drink sales with a broader range of packaged media products, as well as an expanding presence overseas. The company earlier this month reached an agreement with an India-based coffee-bean provider to develop its first stores in that country.

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