Starbucks Hopes Changes to K-Cups Will Brew Up Even Bigger Sales

One subtle marketing change may help Starbucks ( SBUX) brew up even stronger sales of its lucrative K-Cup pods.

"For a long time there was a set template you had to use on all the Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) product boxes, so all the products looked the same -- they have recently relaxed that, and in partnership with them we have been able to create much more complete and vibrant-looking products that bring the brand to life," Starbucks president, global channel development Michael Conway told TheStreet at an event in New York City held to showcase the company's latest coffees and teas headed for supermarket shelves.

For example, a K-Cup box for Starbucks' new Tazo chai latte features a large photo of a cup of steaming tea surrounded by the spices that go into creating it. A K-Cup box for hazelnut coffee has photos of hazelnuts and big fall-inspired orange leaves.  

All of the boxes also boast a more sizable Starbucks mermaid logo, otherwise known as the "siren."


Old Starbucks K-Cup box (top) versus new Starbucks K-Cup box (below). 

Conway says the new boxes began to roll-out with Starbucks fall blend K-Cups last year, and the improved designs will now be applied to all of the company's K-Cup products going forward. "They look prettier, the new design will definitely help sales," says Conway.

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