Arla Foods & Starbucks Sign 21-Year RTD Coffee Partnership

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Arla Foods and coffee chain Starbucks have signed a new 21-year strategic licensing agreement, which will see Arla Foods manufacture, distribute and market ready-to-drink (RTD) Starbucks products in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Starbucks initially chose Arla Foods as its licensing partner in 2010, and this new partnership will see the companies working together in the segment until 2039.

Figures provided by Arla claim that Starbuck’s RTD business has grown by an average of 40% per year across EMEA since the initial agreement was signed, and Arla has launched Starbucks coffee beverages in supermarkets and convenience stores in 38 EMEA countries in this time.

Arla produces the milk-based coffee products at its manufacturing site in Esbjerg, Denmark, and they are made from milk from Arla Foods’ farmer-owners as well as 100% Arabica coffee from the Starbucks Coffee Company.

Hanne Søndergaard, executive vice-president and CMO at Arla Foods, said: “We are proud to take another step in our partnership with Starbucks, bringing great tasting Starbucks ready-to-drink coffee beverages to consumers across Europe and the Middle East while adding value to our farmers’ milk.

“The partnership combines Arla’s extensive experience in manufacturing dairy beverages and our widespread distribution network with Starbucks unique coffee expertise.

“Consumers in the EMEA region have welcomed the great taste and premium nature of the beverages, and we remain committed to working closely with Starbucks on developing and growing the category in the future.

“It is our ambition to be a leading provider of milk-based beverages in Northern Europe, The Middle East, Asia and Northern Africa in 2020, and the new strategic licensing agreement makes the Starbucks partnership a vital part of delivering on this target and we believe that innovation is the key to future success.

“Our recent launches of new Starbucks Double Shot products are a great example of our joint commitment to innovation and to consumers.”

Duncan Moir, vice-president of channel development and foodservice at Starbucks EMEA added: “The strength of our relationship with Arla Foods over the past seven years has seen our RTD business grow by an average of 40% per year across EMEA.

“This new licensing agreement signals our commitment to continue to work together to grow the business within the ready-to-drink sector, and we are proud to be working alongside Arla Foods.”

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