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Starbucks to invest $180m in US, unveil new energy drink

DBR Staff Writer Published 22 March 2012

Starbucks is set to invest around $180m in the US to build a factory in Augusta and expand an existing roasting plant in South Carolina to include packaging facilities. The Seattle-based firm also plans to enter into the $8bn US energy drink market with a new product.

The investment is expected to create 150 new manufacturing jobs. The new roasting plant in Augusta, Georgia, will become the first company-owned and operated facility to produce VIA instant coffee and ingredients for Frappuccino.

The new energy drink Starbucks Refreshers, which combines fruit juice and green coffee extract, will be sold at the US supermarkets starting from April 2012.

Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said the company has decided to make the investment in the US, even though it could have saved money by doing it in low-cost overseas markets.

"Delivering long-term shareholder value is essential. But today's increasingly complex world requires companies, including Starbucks, to hold ourselves to higher standards," he said.

Starbucks will also begin selling coffee mugs made at a once-dormant factory in Ohio, starting from this summer.

The company has recently opened its new Evolution Fresh juice bar chain, which serves fresh fruit and vegetable juices, near Seattle. It also planning to expand beer and wine sales in its stores this year.