Grupo Mariposa-backed Beliv has acquired majority control of US cold-brew coffee business High Brew.
Financial terms were not disclosed but Beliv has bought 78% of the company. The remaining shares will continue to be held by High Brew founder David Smith and unnamed “current investors”, a statement read.
Smith, who set up High Brew in 2013, will stay on as a consultant.
In the statement, Beliv founder and CEO Carlos Sluman said High Brew products were sold in “15,000 sale points” in the US.
Sluman described the US as one of Beliv’s “strategic markets” and added: “With High Brew we are adding a disruptive product in a booming category.”
Citing GlobalData figures, Sluman told Just Drinks RTD coffee was one of the “fastest-growing beverage categories in the US non-alcoholic RTD industry with 10% CAGR retail sales in the last five years”.
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Sluman suggested international expansion is part of Beliv’s growth plans for its new asset. He said the new owner had identified three principal ways to grow High Brew. “They can be summarised in three fronts: (a) consolidate channel expansion in the US; (b) launch innovations related to natural energy need states; and (c) expand internationally,” he explained. “The international plans are focused on UK, EU and China.”
Beliv was founded by Sluman in 2009 and operates in Latin America, Europe and China. The company’s brands include Citric fruit juices, Petit carbonated drinks and Big Easy soda. Beliv acquired the probiotic soda brand in 2021.
Under the deal, KDP will take over the sales and distribution of La Colombe’s shelf-stable RTD coffee beverages.
The Keurig pod producer will also manufacture, sell and distribute a new Keurig cup – or K-Cup – in partnership with La Colombe under a licence agreement that covers the US and Canada.
The handover of La Colombe’s RTD coffee distribution to KDP will take place towards the end of 2023, with the La Colombe K-Cup pods launching next year.
KDP forerunner Dr Pepper Snapple Group was at one stage a distributor for High Brew.