Kraft and Keurig brew coffee deal

by Monica Watrous    View Me on Google+
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Maxwell House is among Kraft coffee brands coming to Keurig licensed portion packs.

WATERBURY, VT. — Maxwell House, Gevalia and other Kraft coffee brands soon will be available in K-Cup portion packs.

Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., Waterbury, Vt., has announced a multi-year agreement with Kraft Foods Group, Inc., Northfield, Ill., to license, manufacture and distribute Kraft’s branded coffees, which also include Yuban and McCafe, in formats compatible with Keurig brewing systems. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“At Kraft, we have made significant strides in rejuvenating our coffee business across all segments — including mainstream, premium and on-demand — by focusing on driving profitable growth for our brands and our customers," said Dino Bianco, executive vice-president and president, Beverages, Kraft Foods. “This agreement offers the opportunity for expanded distribution across multiple channels, and is another example of our focus on long-term growth in action.”

Under the agreement, Kraft’s coffee brands will be available in a variety of licensed Keurig formats, including single-serve K-Cup packs, K-Carafe packs for use in the forthcoming Keurig 2.0 brewing system, and Keurig Bolt packs for use in food service locations. The products will launch beginning this fall.

“Adding Kraft’s celebrated brands to the licensed Keurig family means Keurig consumers will be able to enjoy even more beverages they know and love with the quality and consistency they expect from their Keurig brewer,” said Brian Kelley, president and chief executive officer of Keurig.

Offering a diverse portfolio of brands is a key strategy for Keurig. The company’s proprietary brand represented 38% of single-cup sales, worth $522 million in 2013, trailed by Donut House Collection, according to Packaged Facts, Rockville, Md. Keurig Starbucks and Keurig Eight O’Clock delivered the biggest single-year gains for the company, both up more than 500% last year.

“The company is successful at leveraging licensed partnerships with brands and retailers to increase awareness of its proprietary brewing system,” said David Sprinkle, research director at Packaged Facts. “This latest partnership with Kraft only further underscores the brand’s ability to both pair itself with major coffee players, and underscores how much American coffee drinkers appreciate the ability to replicate their favorite chain restaurant or coffeehouse products at home.”
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