Starbucks to foray into Europe's RTD coffee market

Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:44am EST

A cup displaying the Starbucks Coffee logo is pictured at one of the coffee chain's store in Boca Raton, Florida January 19, 2010. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

A cup displaying the Starbucks Coffee logo is pictured at one of the coffee chain's store in Boca Raton, Florida January 19, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Joe Skipper

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(Reuters) - Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) said it struck a deal with Swedish-Danish dairy products cooperative Arla Foods to foray into the European ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee market.

The world's largest coffee chain said Arla Foods will manufacture, distribute and market Starbucks-branded premium RTD coffee beverages in Europe.

Arla Foods is owned by 7,800 Danish and Swedish cooperative members who supply milk on a daily basis and cater to over 250 million customers in Northern Europe.

Seattle-based Starbuck's current 2010 forecast calls for 100 net new stores in the United States and around 200 net new international cafes.

Recently Starbuck's China chairman said the company sees China becoming the next major market after the United States in the near future.

Starbucks pegs the European RTD market size at about $550 million.

Shares of the company closed at $23.29 Wednesday on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Shradhha Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)

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