Starbucks' U.S. stores begin selling its Verismo brewer

LOS ANGELES Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:01am EDT

LOS ANGELES Oct 15 (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp's U.S. stores on Tuesday will begin selling the coffee chain's new Verismo coffee and espresso brewer, which aims to grab a piece of the fast-growing single-serve market dominated by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc and Nestle SA.

Shares of Green Mountain tumbled when Starbucks first announced plans for the Verismo in March.

Green Mountain's Keurig single-cup coffee machines control more than three-quarters of the U.S. market. Nestle's Nespresso espresso makers hold a 35 percent share globally, with a heavy concentration in Europe.

Starbucks' Verismo machine, which sells for $199 or $399 depending on size and functions, will be offered in about 4,300 company stores beginning on Wednesday. It already is being sold online and through other U.S. retailers.

Brewers from Green Mountain and Nestle, the dominant players in the $8 billion single-serve coffee market, are similarly priced.

Green Mountain's new Keurig Vue coffee brewer sells for around $250, while Nespresso machines can cost anywhere from $130 to $700.

Under a partnership with Green Mountain, Starbucks provides coffee-filled K-cups for use in Green Mountain's Keurig machines. Starbucks has 15 percent share of the K-cup market.

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