NEW BERLIN, NY – Chobani, LLC announced that it has acquired ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee company La Colombe for $900 million. Chobani financed the acquisition through the combination of a newly issued $550 million term loan, cash on hand and the exchange of Keurig Dr Pepper’s (KDP) minority equity stake in La Colombe into Chobani equity.
La Colombe currently serves consumers across multiple channels, including retail, cafes, foodservice and direct-to-consumer. The brand is the only RTD coffee company, owning its supply chain from conscious bean sourcing and premium roasting to the creation of exceptional product experiences for loyal customers.
“At a time where the industry has faced challenges to grow sales, Chobani has delivered double-digit, volume-led sales growth, and considerable margin expansion," said Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and chief executive officer, Chobani. “We’ve already made an investment in the coffee category with our creamers and are excited about bringing La Colombe into the Chobani family, and offering the delicious, high-quality cold brew and ready-to-drink craftmanship of La Colombe to a next generation of consumers, powered by a strong distribution partner in KDP.”
As part of Chobani, La Colombe will continue to operate as an independent brand. This approach allows for collaboration and knowledge sharing between the two companies while preserving the unique identity and innovation that La Colombe is known for.
“La Colombe is a unique brand and well positioned to continue its strong growth trajectory, including upside as its ready-to-drink line expands availability through our Company-owned DSD network and with premium K-Cup pods now in the market,” said Bob Gamgort, KDP Chairman and CEO. “Both as a strategic partner and a minority shareholder, we are excited by the path ahead."
La Colombe is a growing player in the fast-growing $5 billion US RTD coffee category, and its offering will prove complementary to Chobani’s core yogurt portfolio and modern foods innovations, including oat milk and creamer.
As a result of consumers’ developing preference for cold coffee, La Colombe’s RTD line has grown significantly in the last five years and is positioned for accelerated growth. Under Chobani ownership, La Colombe will benefit from the company’s extensive retail execution, marketing and cold chain capabilities to grow its multi-serve offering, as well as through its recently announced sales and distribution agreement with KDP. As a result, La Colombe will also expand the reach of its single-serve product line and have access to grow underdeveloped channels like convenience retail.
According to Chobani, the acquisition will also enhance La Colombe’s procurement practices, deliver cost synergies and elevate its overall operational performance. In addition, given cultural alignment and shared values, La Colombe will play a key role in the company’s ongoing journey to doing good and making the world a healthier place.
Following the announcement from Chobani, Ulakaya posted the news to his LinkedIn.
"We don’t just love their coffee. We love their mission: to bring better-tasting, better-made, and better-for-you coffee to as many people as possible. We are both disruptors and believe that delicious, quality-crafted, more nutritious products should be available for all," he wrote.