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Starbucks Refreshers: Coffee giant unveils new energy drink line

Carbonated beverage uses fruit juice, green coffee extract and comes in three flavors.

Starbucks refreshers 2012 03 22Enlarge
Starbucks unveiled a new energy drink line March 22, 2012. Starbucks Refreshers, available now in select areas, come in three different flavors and are made with fruit juice and green coffee extract. (Starbucks/Courtesy)

Starbucks announced plans Thursday to expand into the fast-growing energy drink industry, unveiling a new line of Refreshers carbonated beverages.

The energy drinks, which are available now in select retail and grocery stores, come in three flavors: raspberry pomegranate, orange melon and strawberry lemonade, The Huffington Post reported.

In addition to fruit juice, the carbonated drink uses green coffee extract, but has no coffee taste. The 12-ounce cans contain 60 calories, Starbucks said in a press release.

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The Refreshers line targets the $8 billion U.S. energy drink market that includes products such as Red Bull and Rockstar, Reuters reported.

By the end of April, Starbucks Refreshers will be available at 160,000 locations, according to The Huffington Post.

Starbucks also announced plans to create roughly 150 jobs by investing nearly $180 million to build a new factory in Augusta, Ga., and to expand an existing roasting plant in Sandy Run, S.C., to add packaging capability, Reuters reported.

More from GlobalPost: Starbucks launches new plan to rejuvenate international sales

Chief Executive Howard Schultz told Reuters the company decided to make the investment in the United States, even though it could have saved money by doing it in low-cost overseas markets.

"Delivering long-term shareholder value is essential. But today's increasingly complex world requires companies -- including Starbucks -- to hold ourselves to higher standards," he told Reuters.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120322/starbucks-refreshers-new-energy-drink