It’s interesting to follow progress of the transition of cola companies to an embrace of coffee and other drink variations. We talked on Friday about a variety of those transitions.
Added to the mix are the recent plans of Coca-Cola to acquire the British coffee shop chain, Costa, which gives Coke a brick and mortar presence in Britain as well as China, where Costa has a growing presence. CEO James Quincey didn’t single out an upcoming competition with Starbucks as the reason for the purchase and declined to say that the company would be opening Costa coffee shops in the U.S. He did say, however, that they would be putting coffee vending machines and beans in U.S. gas stations, college campuses and quick-service restaurants – which is an interesting take on a new avenue for the coffee business. “Consumers continue to want to spend more money on beverages, ” Quincey says. “They just want diversity [which includes] coffee in its various formats.” I’ll leave it to the reader to determine what that might actually mean for the future of Coca-Cola – but following on our last week’s discussion of Smucker’s – perhaps these CEOs should put their heads together and include Folger’s in the vending machine mix, and poised for an entre into new Costa shops in the U.S. However it might go – it should serve as an early warning signal to Starbucks.
QUICK COLA/JAVA CLIPS: coffee vending machines