ChannelNewsAsia published an article today on Coca-Cola’s venture into coffee distribution in Singapore: Channelnewsasia.com – Coca-Cola ventures into premium specialty coffee. Coca-Cola has been investing in coffee service for quite some time. In previous posts here, we’ve covered their development of Far Coast pod systems — among other patents. As one of Wall Street’s darling growth stocks, and a stock represented in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Coke continually seeks out new revenue streams to keep the party train going.
Some at the company are banking heavily on future growth in coffee — by essentially leveraging their existing beverage distribution channels to also support barista-free coffee service for restaurants and cafés. (Despite oddities like Coke Blāk, they show no interest in direct retail of coffee products.) Of course, a company like Coca-Cola typically has senior vice presidents and their minions at odds with each other over company strategy, so anything is possible. But for the past few years, the momentum seems to be in the coffee lobbyists’ favor.
Normally I’d be quite skeptical of their efforts — and, in particular, any effort to make decent espresso from pods or systems that operate like a push-button soda fountain. However, a couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of having dinner with Kenneth Davids, of CoffeeReview (and author of one of my favorite coffee books, Home Coffee Roasting). David has been consulting for Coca-Cola for five years now — and they’ve even made him a full-time job offer to leave his coffee consulting practice behind. For Coca-Cola to make moves like that, they have to be serious about coffee — and David would lend them instant credibility. So this is progress that’s worth keeping an eye on.
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