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Iced Coffee Line at 7-Eleven

According to a National Omnibus Survey, conducted in 2004, Americans - when away from home - purchase coffee at convenience stores and gas stations more than anywhere else. Due to this, the Javo Beverage Company, Inc. has launched an extensive line of fountain dispensed, specialty-iced coffee and latte beverages at the convenience store chain, 7-Eleven. Flavors include Mocha Latte, French Vanilla Latte, Colombian Iced Coffee, Hazelnut Iced Coffee and Columbian Decaf Iced Coffee. Since August 2005, the product line has been tested and fine tuned at 200 locations, and is being expanded more broadly across the Northeast and Upper Midwest.

“The tasty selections reflect the successful innovation and testing by the product and operations teams at our two companies,” says Gary Lillian, Javo’s president. He went on to say that Javo has captured the core varieties of a specialty coffee shop, and has made them available in a convenient dispensing format. “We are thrilled with the reaction of our regular coffee drinkers to this new line of cold drinks,” says Donald Driver, category director for 7-Eleven.

The program was designed for 7-Eleven operators with high traffic, who want to keep sales up without adding additional staff to dispense the popular drinks. All the new products are made with gourmet fresh brewed coffees, and are available in one-gallon dispenser packs that fit commonly available cold drink dispensers.

Starbucks to Acquire Half of Barnie’s Locations

Starbucks Corp. reports that it is buying 56 of Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co. locations, most of them in Florida, for an undisclosed price. Barnie’s c.e.o., Neal Leach, says the sale was “an effort to re-position the company to better focus on our core objectives. He also confirmed that the Barnie’s brand is not going away, and that all other portions of the Barnie’s system, including some company stores, will continue to operate. Alan Hilowitz, a Starbucks spokesman, says the agreement is strictly a real estate transaction and that none of Barnie’s inventory or branded products are involved in the deal.

Barnie’s, when recently reported, said it had more than 100 company-owned and franchised retail locations domestically and internationally. The company reported revenue of $67.3 million for its most recent fiscal year. In the last two years, they have also opened stores in New York, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Ireland. Additional stores are planned for China, India, Korea, Mexico, Europe and South America, as well as another 25-plus stores in the U.S.

Founded in 1980, Barnie’s was acquired by Sara Lee Corp. in 1995. In 2001, Barnie’s was sold to Leach, a former Blockbuster franchisee, who has led the strategy of international expansion, as well as in adding franchisees.

Last fall, the company signed an agreement with REY-food of Istanbul to open a franchise in Istanbul, Turkey, with the goal of opening 11 more by the end of this year, and a total of 60 locations.

Swiss Water Opens Second Decaf Line

Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company (SWDCC) has opened their second decaffeination line, which doubles their decaffeination capacity. Early in 2004, SWDCC realized that another production line would be needed to meet their growing customer demand. This sector covers approximately 20,000-sq. ft. of additional operating floor space.

This expanded capacity was driven by the rising consumer demand for coffee decaffeinated using the 100% chemical free Swiss Water Process. According to the 2005 National Coffee Association of USA (NCA) drinking trends study, decaf now accounts for 18% of all coffee sales in North America, which is greater than Fair Trade and Organic combined. This decaf consumption is driven by two factors: the growth of the “baby boomer” market (women aged 50+, who are the core consumers of decaf) and an increased focus on health conscious lifestyles. Often, consumers choose to drink decaffeinated coffee due to health concerns; as a result, they tend to avoid coffee that is decaffeinated using chemicals, instead opting for Swiss Water decaf.

The company’s major construction project, involving significant capital investment and roughly 112,000 man-hours of labor, commenced March 2005 and ended early January 2006, with the first coffee production from Line 2 in March 2006. In developing this section, the engineers found several opportunities for process refinement. Jeff MacVicar, facility manager at SWDCC, and Kurt Dyck, a chief engineer of SWDCC, wanted to ensure that both Line 1 and Line 2 were producing identical coffees, so they decided to improve Line 1 as well.

Frank Dennis, SWDCC’s president and c.e.o., said, “This expanded capacity will enable quick turnaround of customer coffees, especially during the busy Q4 period. It will also allow roasters to decaffeinate special and/or small lots with far greater flexibility.” Furthermore, Dennis adds, “We’ve forecasted that the market for chemical free decaffeinated coffee will double over the next five years and are therefore convinced that this segment is worthy of our further investment. The opening of our second line is evidence of that commitment.”

New Online Tea Directory Launched

The GreatTearoomsOfAmerica.com (a subsidiary of British Teatime) is a recently launched online directory of U.S. tea rooms. Every tea room in the directory has its own page containing location and other important information, as well as state-of-the-art mapping options. Many listings contain a description of the tearoom written by the owner, as well as some photographs. Tea enthusiasts can search for a tearoom by name, city, state or zip code - or add their own favorite location to the database. Tea rooms within a 120-mile radius are displayed when searching by zip code, making it simple to put together a tearoom tour or trip itinerary.

The company states, “One of the many things that makes GreatTearoomsOfAmerica.com unique are the no-cost ‘behind-the-scenes’ resources available to its registered tearoom owners, such as their own e-mail account, tearoom-owner-only forums, downloadable newsletters, a customized one-page website, and much more.”

Tony Smith, owner of parent-company British Teatime, says, “I was born in London and lived most of my life in England, where finding a tearoom was never a problem. After moving to the U.S., I quickly realized that it’s not that easy over here! Wife, Denise LeCroy and myself created GreatTearoomsOfAmerica.com not only to help tea lovers worldwide but to support this country’s hard-working tearoom owners for whom we have the utmost respect and appreciation.”

Beaner’s Coffee Hits 100 Store Mark

Beaner’s Coffee, a Lansing-based coffee house franchise, has officially passed the 100-store mark with 105 franchises sold. The company has a total of 48 stores that are currently open, and 57 are under contract to open soon. These store’s locations range from Michigan to Florida, and will occupy nine states.

Interest in the franchise has continued to grow and franchise sales have increased by 117% this first quarter, compared to last year’s first quarter. “As we open more stores, awareness of our brand has broadened and so has interest,” said Tony Ziegler, director of franchise development. “After all 100 stores are open, we expect to double in units very quickly.” The company has opened six stores this year, and plans to open 19 more by the end of 2006. There currently are franchises in six states, including 35 in Michigan, nine in Ohio, and a couple of stores in Indiana, Wisconsin, Alabama and South Carolina with further expansion in the Midwest and South this year.

Beaner’s Coffee was created in 1995 in Michigan, and began franchising in 1999, specializing in gourmet coffee and teas. The fun and energetic coffee house features more than 30 specialty coffee, tea and frozen drinks. Each day, the store brews six special coffees, and carries a broad selection of pastries, fruit, soups and sandwiches.

FFG Industries, Inc. to Acquire Western Flavors And Fragrances, Inc.

FFG Industries, Inc. (Flavor & Fragrance Group), a portfolio company of Nautic Partners, LLC, a leading private equity firm with more than $1.8 billion of capital under management, has purchased the assets of Western Flavors and Fragrances, Inc. (WFF), a California-based developer and manufacturer of flavors and fragrances to the domestic and international markets.

Founded in 1985 in Northern California by Richard J. Grame and T. Gary Pryor, WFF is a developer, manufacturer and supplier of flavors and fragrances to the domestic and international markets for use in a wide variety of consumer products. Richard J. Grame, president of WFF said, “We are very pleased with this transaction and the many opportunities afforded in merging into a larger company with FFG’s capabilities. I welcome the opportunity to work with the FFG team, as we continue to service our customers in the future.”

Carlo W. Colesanti, chairman, president and c.e.o. of FFG, said “WFF is a leading regional brand with a strong competitive position in natural flavors and fragrances, and is focused on the growing lifestyle nutritional and personal care markets. Joining forces with WFF will continue to strengthen our market presence, particularly on the West Coast, where we will gain new customers, new products and an expanded sales force that will support our business growth as a middle-market leader in the flavor and fragrance industry.”

Tea & Coffee - July/August, 2006

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