Molson Coors and La Colombe end distribution agreement

Molson Coors and La Colombe Coffee Roasters have jointly agreed to end their distribution agreement effective March 31, 2023.

The decision comes as La Colombe seeks to combine operations of its ready-to-drink coffee business, which the Molson Coors network distributed, with its bagged coffee and cold brew coffee multi-serves.

“Over the past few years, we have opened new lines of revenue for all our businesses as we leverage the competitive strengths of Molson Coors and expand beyond the beer aisle,” said Pete Marino, Molson Coors’ president of emerging growth, in an email to U.S. distributors.

“We’ve had some hits and some misses, but we’ve learned a ton and we have positioned ourselves for a bright future,” he said. “One of the lessons we’ve learned is to quickly identify when something just isn’t going to work for us, or for you.”

Hence the mutual decision to part ways with La Colombe, whose desire to consolidate distribution of its ready-to-drink coffees with other products “creates significant logistical challenges for our distributor partners while still requiring similar levels of investment on their part,” Marino said.

“We love the brand and wish La Colombe the best moving forward, but we believe this is a decision our distributors will greatly appreciate.”

Chuck Chupein, president of La Colombe, said: “Molson Coors has been a great partner. They have invested significant resources against building their team and demonstrated the ability to sell successfully non-alc brands like ours.”

While La Colombe “would welcome the chance to stay involved with Molson Coors for certain classes of trade as we look to benefit from more synergies in our businesses,” the coffee company recognises “why that doesn’t make sense for them or many of their wholesalers.”

Molson Coors and its network of independent distributors have distributed La Colombe’s specialty ready-to-drink coffee products in convenience, drug and certain big-box stores since January 2021.

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