Starbucks enters energy drink industry

The energy drink industry is about to get a bit more crowded.  Starbucks has announced it plans to start offering a line of "natural" energy drinks in April called "Starbucks Refreshers."

You'll be able to buy the drinks at grocery, convenience and Starbucks stores, according to an article in USA Today.  Unroasted, green coffee extracts are being used to give the drink its boost of energy but consumers won't be able to taste the coffee.  The drinks will be fruity and range in flavors from Raspberry Pomegranate to Strawberry Lemonade.  They'll come in 12-ounce, 60-calorie cans.

And these drinks will pack a caffeine punch.  Each drink has 40 to 50 milligrams of caffeine, which is two-thirds the caffeine of a shot of espresso and one-third that of an 8-ounce coffee.

Beverage Digest reports that energy drinks are the fastest-growing part of the beverage industry, up 16% over the past year.

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