Nestlé’s Nestea Iced Tea brand will no longer be on German retail shelves come the close of March, as its distribution agreement in the market ends.

Nestlé’ Germany’s contract with its previous distribution partner has come to an end in the region. As a result, all Nestea Iced Tea products stocked in German retail stores are expected to be sold off by the end of March.

A spokesperson for Nestlé Germany declined to give a reason why it had not renewed its contract with the unnamed distributor. They added the brand was also sold under a straight license agreement by distributors in countries including Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Baltics, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.

Nestea is made and sold directly by Nestlé Waters in Switzerland.

The Nestea brand was jointly developed by Nestlé and The Coca-Cola Co. in 2001 through the Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW) joint venture. As of January 2018, this joint venture has been wound down.

The Coca-Cola Co. has retained the licence to manufacture and distribute Nestea in Canada, Spain, Romania, Hungary, Portugal and Andorra.

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By GlobalData

Nestlé Waters’ division handles the US manufacturing and distribution of the brand, as it does in EU countries not controlled by its former, unnamed partner.

On the closure of the joint venture, Nestlé said that “the ready-to-drink tea market has evolved, and Nestlé believes the time is right to develop Nestea independently”.

This year, Nestlé took a minority stake in the German nutrition-based start-up YFood. The company is a Munich-based producer of meal-replacement snack bars, drinks and powders. Nestlé said it will not take control of operations or strategy following its investment.

In the US, Nestlé invested $43m towards the expansion of its Wisconsin factory in January, where it produces a range of RTDs, as well as medical nutrition products. The capital will go towards building two production lines to increase the capacity of its Boost and Carnation Breakfast Essentials RTD products.