MILAN, ITALY — Illycaffe and JAB Holding Co. have reached an agreement under which JAB’s Jacobs Douwe Egberts platform will produce and sell illycaffe coffee pods. The pods, which will be compatible with Nestle’s Nespresso system, will debut in the first half of 2019. Currently illycaffe’s pods are compatible only with the Milan-based company’s own coffee machines.
“We found in JAB the right partner for this new business,” said Massimiliano Pogliani, chief executive officer of illycaffe. “Making the illy experience more and more accessible to consumers globally is fundamental for our strategy, and it is the reason why we decided to enter such a broad market standard through a licensing agreement. The quality leader and the market leader are putting together their excellences for the benefit of the customer, who is the focus of this project.”
To maximize synergies with illycaffe’s omni-channel presence, illycaffe said it will be in charge of distribution in Italy and all other sales channels.
The announcement comes a little more than a month after Nestle S.A. and Starbucks Corp. finalized a transaction that grants Nestle the perpetual global license to market, sell and distribute certain Starbucks coffees and teas at retail and food service outlets outside of Starbucks stores around the world. The agreement does not include Starbucks’ ready-to-drink products, which are subject to other licensing agreements, or sales of any products within Starbucks coffee shops. Also in recent months, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. agreed to acquire London-based Costa Ltd., which operates 4,000 retail outlets, a coffee vending business and a coffee roastery.
Illycaffe is the third-largest coffee maker in Italy with sales of approximately €467 million in fiscal 2017. The company operates 244 stores and monobrand illy shops in 43 countries.