Collaborative effort brings new Starbucks beverage to market

Written by Emily Battmer

A shelf-stable milk and coffee beverage enhanced with protein is one of the newest products produced at the Cabool, Mo., plant of Dairy Farmers of America.

With heightened consumer interest in food’s protein content, Starbucks Doubleshot Coffee & Protein was co-developed by the DFA Innovation Center in Springfield, Mo., and the North American Coffee Partnership, a joint venture of PepsiCo and Starbucks coffee.

The beverage combines the brand’s popular Doubleshot coffee drinks with 20 grams of added milk-derived protein per 11-ounce aluminum can and is available in three flavors: coffee, vanilla bean and dark chocolate.

Kelly Piercy, senior director of product development and technical research, says that the North American Coffee Partnership approached the Innovation Center with the idea for the product and asked DFA’s team to participate in the co-development effort. The Innovation Center and the coffee partnership’s research and development team in New York exchanged ideas throughout the process, sharing successes and failures until they arrived at the final formula for the product. 

“We have a very strong, positive, interactive relationship with this customer, and we really work together as a team,” Piercy says.

Piercy says the Innovation Center’s involvement with the development of the formula speaks to DFA’s expertise in proteincontaining products, something that is a new platform for the coffee partnership. The beverages are produced at DFA’s plant in Cabool and available at the retail level.

“These new products are exciting additions to our production in Cabool,” says Edward Tilley, chief operating officer of DFA’s beverage and dairy foods division. “They’re also contributing to a positive influence on our budget for the facility.”

DFA currently produces nearly 1 billion bottles and cans of Starbucks’ Doubleshot Espresso and Frappuccino coffee and milk beverages at these four plants: Cabool; Springfield; Mechanicsburg, Pa.; and Ventura, Calif.


Read our “Buzz behind Starbucks” blog, written by Emily Gilbert, industry and public affairs coordinator, DFA, about her recent trip to Starbucks headquarters.