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Starbucks Plans Summer Soda Rollout

SEATTLE – Starbucks Corp. will launch Fizzio, a new line of handcrafted sodas, at 3,000 locations in the United States and Asia this summer, according to a Nation's Restaurant News report. The rollout follows a 2013 test in select markets.

Fizzio sodas, which will include ginger ale, spiced root beer and lemon ale flavors to start, are "all natural, preservative-free alternatives to sugar-filled sodas with a theater of a custom handcrafted beverage that I am convinced will be a big hit with consumers and drive traffic and incrementally during the key afternoon daypart," Starbucks President, Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz said during the company's April 24 earnings call for the second quarter of fiscal 2014.

The sodas and a more diverse Teavana tea platform are part of Starbucks' plans to enhance food attachments as it prepares to add new lunch offerings this year.

Certain items are currently being tested, according to Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead, who noted that Starbucks' Evenings program will likely be available at more than 1,000 U.S. locations over the next few years.

These menu changes will also affect Starbucks' approach to real estate, Alstead said. As the company adds more offerings focused on later dayparts, it will likely move into locations that are less focused on the morning daypart.

Starbucks reported a 6-percent increase in same-store sales for the second quarter despite disruptions caused by severe winter weather. Increased traffic and growing food sales helped offset the weather's impact, the company said.

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