Less than a year after taking La Colombe Coffee Roasters’ ready-to-drink coffee products national in convenience and drug stores, Molson Coors said today it has been awarded national distribution of the brand in select grocery and big-box retailers across the U.S.
The expansion, slated to begin late 2021 in leading national chains as well as in certain West Coast grocery stores, comes months earlier than planned and is based on Molson Coors and its distributors’ early success in large, national retailers such as CVS and QuikTrip, says Pete Marino, president of emerging growth at Molson Coors.
“The fact that we have already unlocked these new distribution channels is a testament to La Colombe’s great products, our incredible distributor network and our ability to successfully drive a meaningful non-alcohol portfolio,” Marino says. “Specialty and (ready-to-drink) coffee products are one of the fastest-growing spaces in the beverage industry, and I’m extremely excited that it is a fast-growing part of Molson Coors’ beyond beer portfolio as well.”
Molson Coors and La Colombe inked a 10-year distribution deal in October, and Molson Coors tapped into its vast distribution network to begin selling La Colombe’s Draft Latte and Brazilian Cold Brew products nationally in January. As of September 1, Molson Coors is distributing La Colombe products in about 15,000 retail outlets throughout the U.S.
Through the partnership, La Colombe already has increased its retail footprint by more than 400% in convenience stores, the top channel for ready-to-drink coffee, accounting for more than 40% of the market, data show.
“The strength of the Molson Coors distributor network combined with the brand equity that we have built in the premium coffee category will add value for our retailers and drive success," said Kyle O’Brien, executive vice president of sales for La Colombe Coffee Roasters. "La Colombe has driven innovation in the ready-to-drink coffee category, and we are thrilled to be able to bring our beloved beverages to more people in more channels."
Known for its ethically sourced ingredients, high-quality roasting and commitment to quality, La Colombe is credited as a pioneer in the third-wave coffee revolution, and it ranks No. 1 in the premium category in the ready-to-drink coffee space, which is worth an estimated $4.5 billion.
Its distribution pact with Molson Coors includes all of its ready-to-drink coffee product lines and future innovations.
Along with the Dwayne Johnson-backed Zoa, La Colombe is a critical part of Molson Coors’ efforts to expand its offerings beyond the beer aisle, a move that has diversified its portfolio to include an expanding roster of non-alcohol beverages, better-for-you offerings, CBD beverages and wine and spirits.
“We are committed to building a great non-alc business and with brands like La Colombe and ZOA, we couldn’t feel better about driving the mass, margin and momentum that our network loves,” Marino says. “It’s not easy to stand up a brand-new business like this, but with the quality of our brands combined with our organizational ambition and focus, we are confident in our future as a non-alc player.”