Iced coffee at its ‘Best’

SEATTLE —The ready-to-drink coffee segment has another player: Seattle’s Best Coffee. Starbucks and Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages’ North American Coffee Partnership introduced iced latte coffee drinks under the Seattle’s Best name in test markets in the western United States in January.

The beverages are available in iced latte, iced vanilla latte and iced mocha flavors, and retail for $1.49 for a single-serve can and $4.99 for a four-pack. The new line of drinks is being tested in such chains as Ralphs, Safeway, Target and Walgreens in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. A wider rollout is expected later this year.

Sales of ready-to-drink coffee were nearly $46 million in drug stores for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 27, 2009, according to Information Resources Inc.