Starbucks has launched packeted instant coffee in a bid to give consumers a caffeine hit of its high-street brand at home.

Via Ready Brew hits stores in Seattle and Chicago early next month and goes on sale in London Starbucks stores from 25 March before rolling out in the autumn. Retail price has been set at £1.20 (three servings) and £3.95 (12 servings).

The company aims to win over new instant coffee users and to steal market share from established brands.

Darcy Willson-Rymer, managing director, Starbucks UK & Ireland, said: “I believe this is a great opportunity for Starbucks and I can’t wait for consumers to be able to enjoy it.”

The coffee chain said it had spent almost 20 years developing the instant coffee so that it tasted the same as the beverage brewed in its 12,000 cafes worldwide.

Starbucks’ growth in the US has slowed as the recession has worsened, and Starbucks recently announced plans to shut 1,000 cafes worldwide.