Starbucks seeks acquisitions

Starbucks yesterday laid out an ambitious strategy for growing sales beyond its cafes, saying it would look to expand its packaged goods business through acquisitions. The firm believes its packaged coffee, bottled Frappuccino, Via instant coffee and other products sold in grocery stores can grow faster than sales at its 17,000 worldwide retail cafes. The coffee chain plans to accelerate that growth by taking a bigger role in that business, which includes cutting ties with Kraft, its distributor of Starbucks coffee to supermarkets for the past 12 years.