The Coca-Cola Company and illycaffè SpA Finalize Joint Venture, Launch Premium Ready-to-Drink Espresso-Based Coffee Beverages

TRIESTE, Italy & ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Coca-Cola Company and illycaffè SpA announced today the companies have finalized their global joint venture and will be introducing three premium ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee products in several European countries in April.

Through the joint venture, Ilko Coffee International, consumers in 10 European countries will be able to purchase three premium ready-to-drink coffee products. The products are:

  • Caffè: bold, full-bodied character, real Italian chilled caffe. First ready-to-drink coffee to offer black (no milk) espresso-based coffee.
  • Cappuccino: intense uplifting aromas of illy espresso, blended with milk and dark cacao.
  • Latte Macchiato: smooth fresh illy espresso experience, swirled with milk.

The products will be available in stylish, premium cans (150 ml for Caffè and 200 ml for the milk variants). All three offerings will be available in 10 European Coca-Cola Hellenic markets including Austria, Croatia, Greece and the Ukraine. The initial launch is a result of a joint venture between Ilko Coffee International and Coca-Cola Hellenic.

Additional countries in Europe, Asia, North America, Eurasia and the Pacific are slated for expansion throughout the remainder of 2008 and into 2009 and will be delivered through the Coca-Cola system.

The highly profitable RTD coffee category globally is valued at just under $16 billion and has experienced several years of growth that is expected to continue. Globally (excluding Japan), the ready-to-drink coffee category has grown at an average rate of 10.1 percent over the past five years.

When we announced the partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and illy a few months ago, we committed to deliver the perfect ready to drink espresso experience, said Muhtar Kent, president and chief operating officer, The Coca-Cola Company. Today, we believe we have delivered on that promise with an authentic Italian coffee experience. I look forward to this partnership delivering these great brands across the globe and enhancing our global leadership in the fast growing RTD coffee category.

Over the past few months, we put the effort into bringing to life the illy taste in three new ready to drink espresso-based products, said Andrea Illy, illycaffè chairman. Now, our objective is to give consistency together with Coca-Cola to what premium ready to drink coffee is. Coca-Cola in its history has invented entire new product categories. illycaffè is the company that greatly contributed to the definition of the espresso category. Together we will redefine how people engage with a ready to drink coffee in order to experience a true small luxury pleasure.

The companies announced an agreement in October 2007 to focus on premium ready-to-drink coffee based beverages. Ilko Coffee International is based in Milan and will be led by Vinay Kapoor, a Coca-Cola executive with over 14 years of successful experience across a number of geographies and across multiple functions.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world’s top five nonalcoholic sparkling brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta® and Sprite®, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light beverages, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy and sports drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at

About illycaffè

Based in Trieste, Italy, illycaffé produces and markets a unique blend of espresso coffee under a single brand leader in quality. Over 6 million cups of illy espresso coffee are enjoyed every day. illy is sold in over 140 countries around the world and is available in more than 50,000 of the best restaurants and coffee bars. illycaffè employs around 700 people and has a consolidated turnover of 246 million. (2006 results)

illy buys green coffee directly from the growers of the highest quality Arabica through partnerships based on the mutual creation of value. The Trieste-based company fosters long-term collaborations with the world’s best coffee growers — in Brazil, Central America, India and Africa — providing know-how and technology and offering above-market prices. For more information about illycaffè: