Agreement Will Focus on Delivering the Highest Quality Ready-to-Drink Coffee Around the Globe
TRIESTE, Italy & ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Coca-Cola Company and illycaffè SpA today announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a global joint venture focused on the premium ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee segment leveraging illy’s world class expertise in the art of the espresso to capture opportunities in this high growth, profitable beverage category with new brands and products.
The RTD coffee category globally is valued at just under $10 billion and has experienced several years of growth that is expected to continue. Globally (excluding Japan), the ready-to-drink coffee category has grown at an average rate of 10.1% over the past five years.
“illy is a proven leader with an uncompromising commitment to high-quality espresso coffee and a strong history of innovation with whom we are proud to partner,” said Muhtar Kent president and chief operating officer, The Coca-Cola Company. “We will be able to bring our brand building and distribution expertise together with illy’s premium brand reputation. This partnership demonstrates our commitment to meeting evolving consumer demands while creating additional value for our system, our customers and our shareowners.”
“We are proud to partner with the top brand name in sparkling beverages to offer the illy taste to a new range of consumers as well as those who love our traditional espresso tastes to meet new consumption moments,” said Andrea Illy chairman, illycaffè. “Our R&D and product know-how will join The Coca-Cola Company’s industrial and distribution infrastructure to develop a high quality ready-to-drink coffee.”
While the specifics on brands and distribution have not yet been finalized, both parties expect the final joint venture agreements to be signed by the end of 2007.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world’s top five nonalcoholic sparkling brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta® and Sprite®, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light beverages, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy and sports drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate exceeding 1.4 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
Based in Trieste, Italy, illycaffé produces and markets a unique blend of espresso coffee as the single brand leader in quality coffee. Over 6 million cups of illy espresso coffee are enjoyed every day. illy is sold in 140 countries around the world and is available in more than 50,000 of the best restaurants and coffee bars. illycaffè employs around 700 people and has a consolidated turnover of €246 million.
illy buys green coffee directly from the growers of the highest quality Arabica through partnerships based on the mutual creation of value. The Trieste-based company fosters long-term collaborations with the world’s best coffee growers – in Brazil, Central America, India and Africa – providing know-how and technology and offering above-market prices. For more information about illycaffè: www.illy.com.