Coffee Events From 2015
The coffee events from the past year turned out to be one of growth and acquisition from the biggest names in the industry. Investments in the future were placed on the table while others expand into new exciting verticles.
Peet’s Buys Everyone
2015 was a busy year for Peet’s Coffee & Tea (owned by JAB Holdings, see #2 below) who purchased Portland’s beloved and majority ownership stake in Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee. News of both sales came weeks apart and shifted power in the world of specialty coffee. Stumptown has announced plans for retail expansion in New Orleans and Austin amidst the change in ownership. Therefore, with both coffee companies growing at an aggressive rate over the past couple of years, this swift shift in ownership leaves many with curious eyes on the future of both companies.
Keurig Sells For $14 BILLION
Keurig Green Mountain, the manufacturers of coffee flavor pods and coffee makers, was purchased by JAB Holding Co. for $13.9 billion, the same holding company that has ownership of Peet’s Coffee & Tea as well as Caribou Coffee. This acquisition gives the Keurig brand a jump start with multiple competitors entering the single serve pod space the past couple of years. For those of you doing the math, yes, that means JAB Holding Co now owns Keurig, Stumptown, Intelligentsia, Peet’s and Caribou.
Cold Brew Coffee’s Coming Out Party
Whether it’s in a can, from a tap, in your fridge or at your favorite local coffee shop, cold brew has arrived in 2015. As the cold, crisp, smooth taste hits your lips you begin to forget all about that old iced coffee, making way for the coolest beverage in coffee to take center stage. Both Starbucks and Peet’s rolled out cold brew programs this past year in their retail stores as specialty coffee roasters start to bottle, can, and distribute their finest slow brewed brews. Cold brew pioneers such as Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Cuvee Coffee, and La Colombe Coffee have been canning their cold brew as well as having it on draught leading Caribou Coffee being the first national chain to mainstream nitro cold brew, signaling that the rise of cold brew has begun.
Blue Bottle Eliminates Wholesale
With specialty coffee growing throughout the country, many are falling in love with the “third wave.” Coffee companies continue their wholesale dominance of the market as more and more devotees of specialty coffee are born every day. Blue Bottle Coffee is zigging to that zag by pulling back and giving their consumers a uniform experience from order to sip. Stepping aside from their wholesale accounts and making their coffee no longer available to baristas not of their own training opens the doors for quality control with a focus on dedication to retail. In conclusion, with this past year bringing us their first café and roastery in Japan, the Blue Bottle imprint is now global and shows no sign of slowing down.
SCAA Eliminates Latte Art Championships And Regionals For The US Competition Series
Surprisingly, the Specialty Coffee Association of America has canceled the Latte Art Championships citing low participation. Although the competition is only two years old, it’s been a crowd favorite at SCAA and we’re sad to see it not given a chance to build momentum. The SCAA also dismantled regional representation of its barista competition series and switched to a more general selection process, leaving those looking to strut for their region disenchanted. We’re still eagerly awaiting the announcement for the list of competitors to be released. Rather than a regional qualification, baristas with the proper credentials are to register for the available slots with each company being allowed to enter up to three competitors.
Dunkin Donuts To Your Door
With a Southern California expansion well underway, Dunkin Donuts has doubled down on the on- demand donut and coffee market by giving customers the option to have their favorite beverage and deep fried treat brought to them through the on-demand service DoorDash, making the morning coffee run appear with the press of a button. We’re looking forward to seeing what the union of on-demand delivery services and smaller specialty coffee roasters brings us, as this can only be a win for all lovers of specialty coffee.
That’s a wrap; wow, what a year! 2015 brought us coffee news and developments we could have never predicted and we eagerly await to see what 2016 brings. We’ve got big things already in the works – Happy New Year everyone!