Market research company Information Resources Inc. has named Starbucks K-Cup packs one of the top 10 food and beverage launches of 2012.

More than 850 million Starbucks K-Cup packs have been shipped to food, drug, mass, club and specialty retailers, as well as Starbucks units and via e-commerce channels since launching in November 2011.

According to IRI, nearly 1,900 new consumer packaged goods products hit the shelves in 2011 and 2012. The Starbucks K-Cup launch was among a small percentage of new CPG products that met IRI's benchmarks of "exceptional first-year sales success" required to achieve the 2012 "New Product Pacesetter" status.

"Starbucks' entry into the Keurig brewing system with its own K-Cup packs was greeted with much excitement by customers across the country," said Larry Levin, executive vice president, client insights, IRI. "In addition to Starbucks K-Cup packs being the largest K-Cup pack launch in Pacesetter history, the company's innovation with its Starbuck Blonde Roast coffee, which is also available in K-Cup packs, was cited as a Rising Star for 2013, a leading indicator of future pacesetter status."

The overall premium single cup category now accounts for more than 25 percent of total coffee sales in grocery. In March 2013, with expanded availability and distribution, sales of Starbucks coffee K-Cup packs increased more than 75 percent versus prior year sales.

Starbucks expects to extend its K-Cup line to include flavored coffee.

Read more about coffee/specialty beverages.

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