October 8/Asian Business Newsweekly -- Starbucks Coffee Company and Suntory Ltd. announced plans to launch Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso Doppio and Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso Con Panna in convenience stores across central Japan. Starbucks Doubleshot is the second family of ready-to-drink (RTD) premium coffee beverages Starbucks has introduced in the Japanese market.

Following the launch of Starbucks Discoveries chilled cup coffee in 2005, Starbucks and Suntory began a more than two-year development process for the new RTD coffee beverage line. Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso Doppio and Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso Con Panna were created specifically for the taste preferences and lifestyles of Japanese consumers, delivering an authentic Starbucks espresso beverage in a convenient format.

"Extending the Starbucks experience to customers beyond our retail stores reinforces our reputation for innovation, coffee quality and expertise," said Rich DePencier, vice president, Starbucks Global Consumer Products, International. "We are very proud of the new Starbucks Doubleshot espresso drinks and believe they will create a new premium category in the ambient ready-to-drink coffee market in Japan."

Both Starbucks Doubleshot espresso drinks are made with Starbucks Espresso Roast, the same arabica coffee used in the handcrafted espresso beverages available at Starbucks retail stores around the world. Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso Doppio has a bold, full coffee flavor from espresso and a hint of milk. Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso Con Panna also has a bold coffee flavor from espresso but is blended with milk and a hint of sweetness.

In March 2005, Starbucks and Suntory signed an agreement to enter the more than $8.4 billion Japanese RTD coffee market. With their introduction of Starbucks Discoveries chilled cup coffee, a fresh blend of Starbucks coffee and milk, the companies helped build a new premium category in the nation's chilled cup coffee market.

From the October 13, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash