Keurig, Coke expand partnership

by Monica Watrous
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Honest Tea's unsweetened black and green tea varieties will be available in K-Cup packs.

WATERBURY, VT. AND ATLANTA — The relationship between Keurig Green Mountain and the Coca-Cola Co. is heating up. The companies have expanded their agreement to include Coca-Cola’s still beverage brands in Keurig’s hot brewing system. Honest Tea, Coca-Cola’s organic bottled iced tea line, will be the first of the company’s brands available in K-Cup packs. Honest Tea K-Cups will debut in two varieties, unsweetened green tea and unsweetened black tea, as part of Keurig’s Brew Over Ice collection. The products are made with organic certified fair trade tea.

The strategic partnership began in February, when the companies signed a 10-year agreement to develop and introduce the forthcoming Keurig Cold home beverage system. As part of the deal, Coca-Cola acquired a 10% stake in Keurig, which it has since increased to 16%.

“As we began to collaborate with The Coca-Cola Co. on the development of their brands for our Keurig Cold system, the opportunity to incorporate certain Coca-Cola brands, like Honest Tea, into our Brew Over Ice selections for our Keurig hot brewing system became an exciting possibility,” said Mark Wood, senior vice-president, Global Hot Systems at Keurig. “Whether hot or cold, adding great brands like Honest Tea to the Keurig system is a part of our ongoing mission to provide consumers with unparalleled choice and variety.”

Keurig Cold is expected to debut during Green Mountain’s fiscal 2015. With an open-architecture platform similar to Keurig’s hot system, Keurig Cold will use single-serve pods to dispense cold beverages, including carbonated drinks, enhanced waters, juice beverages, sports drinks and teas.
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