ATLANTA — The Coca-Cola Co. and the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs have made minority investments in Suja Life L.L.C., the San Diego-based maker of organic, cold-pressured juice products. Financial terms were not disclosed. As part of a new distribution partnership, Coca-Cola also will begin distributing Suja through its Odwalla chilled direct-store delivery system.
With the closing of the deals, Suja expects to increase product distribution, operational efficiencies and capacity.
|Church, co-founder and c.e.o. of Suja.|
“When we started our home-delivery juicing company in San Diego about three years ago, we couldn’t have imagined the incredible growth and consumer demand that we face today,” said Jeff Church, co-founder and chief executive officer of Suja. “As we continued to innovate and find ways to democratize juice, we soon realized that for us to take the business to the next level in providing organic, cold-pressured juice to even more people, we needed to find the correct strategic partners. As these new partnerships begin, nothing will change in Suja’s promise to its fans: our juice will always be organic, non-G.M.O., cold-pressured, and free of any additives.”
Since launching in 2012, Suja has made a splash in the premium beverage category and is expected to generate $80 million to $90 million in revenues this year. The brand is sold in approximately 10,000 outlets, with exclusive products offered at such retailers as Target, Kroger and Costco. Currently, the company manufactures more than 50 varieties.
|Mike Saint John, president of Value Added Dairy and Natural Health Beverages for Coca-Cola North America.|
“Suja’s commitment to excellence in its beverages, operations and mission has positioned it as a leader in the rapidly-growing organic juice segment,” said Mike Saint John, president of Value Added Dairy and Natural Health Beverages for Coca-Cola North America. “This, coupled with the resources of The Coca-Cola Co., including our unmatched distribution system, will expand availability of this delicious beverage. Suja’s great-tasting, organic juice will nicely complement our broad portfolio and expand it further to meet people’s beverage needs.”Suja is the latest in a string of recent investments by Coca-Cola. In the past year, the beverage giant acquired a stake in Monster Beverage Corp., increased its stake in Keurig Green Mountain and announced a distribution partnership with the fairlife brand of premium milk. More recently, the company acquired a producer of plant-based protein drinks sold in China.