Companies Plan to Bring Ice Cream Innovations Inspired by Starbucks® Coffee and Coffeehouse Flavors to Consumers in the U.S. and Canada.
Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) and Unilever (NYSE: UN, UL) today announced an exclusive licensing agreement for the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of Starbucks® ice cream in the U.S. and Canada. The agreement leverages Starbucks coffee expertise and passion for innovation and Unilever's capabilities as the leading global manufacturer and marketer of ice cream, strengthening the companies' super-premium positions in the more than $17 billion ice cream category in the U.S. and Canada.
"Unilever's industry-leading innovation and commitment to social responsibility with brands like Ben & Jerry's are well-aligned with our values and vision for the business," said Gerry Lopez, president, Starbucks Global Consumer Products, Starbucks Foodservice and Seattle's Best Coffee. "This relationship will enable us to introduce exciting new products and extend the Starbucks Experience to a larger base of consumers."
Starbucks® ice cream was first introduced in 1996, at which time it quickly became a leading brand of coffee ice cream in the U.S. Starbucks ice cream is made with only high-quality arabica coffee, purchased and roasted in accordance with Starbucks stringent standards. The company proudly offers a variety of other coffee-related products to consumers around the world through grocery, convenience and other retail channels. These products include bottled Starbucks Frappuccino® beverages, Starbucks Doubleshot® drinks, Starbucks Discoveries® chilled cup coffees, Starbucks™ Liqueurs, Starbucks® Chocolate and a complete line of packaged coffees.
In addition to Ben & Jerry's®, Unilever's iconic ice cream brands in North America include Breyers®, Good Humor®, Klondike® and Popsicle®. For Starbucks ice cream, Unilever will employ its world-class research & development and creative resources to produce super-premium ice cream innovations inspired by Starbucks® coffee and classic coffeehouse flavors.
"Ice cream is a core strategic category for Unilever, generating more than $6 billion in annual sales for us globally," said Peter Ter Kulve, Unilever Senior Vice President, Global Ice Cream. "Starbucks is recognized around the world for its high-quality coffee and innovative approach to products, and thus Starbucks-branded super-premium ice cream is a perfect complement to our portfolio. We look forward to working together to deliver a signature and unparalleled frozen dessert experience to consumers."
The companies' ice cream licensing agreement builds upon an existing relationship for the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of Starbucks® Tazo® ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, which was announced last month. Starbucks and the Pepsi/Lipton Tea Partnership (PLP), a joint venture between Unilever and PepsiCo, signed a licensing agreement to manage the product line.
"We are excited that Starbucks has chosen to extend and deepen its partnership with Unilever," said James Wong, Vice President, Business Development, Unilever Americas. "Further strengthening this collaboration allows us the opportunity to gain additional momentum in our North American ice cream business, building on our superior global scale and experience."
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Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.com(Link opens in a new window).
Unilever's mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Each day, around the world, consumers make 160 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. In the United States, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, "all," Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Hellmann's, Klondike, Knorr, Lipton, Promise, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Snuggle, Suave, Sunsilk and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Unilever employs more than 14,000 people in the United States and Puerto Rico – generating nearly $11 billion in sales in 2007. For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com.
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