The world's biggest coffee shop is aspiring to increase sales at U.S. grocery stores, according to published reports .
Starbuck ( SBUX ) has retained Acosta, a consumer marketer, whose will begin assisting the Seattle-based company on March 1 with sales and strategies to market bagged coffee, MarketWatch reports. Starbucks is in the process of terminating its relationship with Kraft Foods ( KFT ), a distributor who has distributed its coffee for the past 12 years. Kraft is pursuing arbitration hearings as it believes Starbucks' departure violates their relationship.
"We are moving forward with our transition," Jeff Hansberry, head of the global consumer-products group Starbucks, said at the company's investor conference in New York.
Hobbled by the recession, Starbucks closed several stores but since has turned around its business performance and is searching methods and areas to grow. The company wants more control over its product's availability and marketing in supermarkets.
Acosta of Jacksonville, Florida and Starbucks have been working together since early last year on Via, the coffee purveyor's instant coffee option. Thus far, Via has brought in more than $135 million in sales.