Javo Heats Up

7-Eleven iced-coffee deal a coup for supplier

VISTA, Calif.--The burgeoning market for coffee in the United States is opening doors for coffee supplier Javo Beverage Co. Inc.

Hot or cold, Javo has been making inroads both nationally and abroad as a purveyor of coffee- and tea-based dispensed beverages, drink mixes and flavors for the food-service industry, according to a report in the San Diego Business Journal.

Javo evolved after CEO Cody Ashwell and his team acquired La Jolla Fresh Squeezed Coffee Co. Inc., and its technology of developing high-quality extracts. We saw [image-nocss] a huge opportunity for high-quality coffee, he told the newspaper.

What Javo did was to incorporate this technology into a common dispensing format known as bag-and-box packaging, according to the report. With the help of its research and development lab, the company developed a method that lets foodservice operations dispense a flavorful cup of tea or coffee in the same way they do soft drinks, without having to brew their own beverages, said Ashwell.

Noting a market of 2.5 million non-coffeehouse locations across the country, he observed that, They would like to participate in the coffeehouse menus, he said. We give them the opportunity in the familiar format of the bag-and-box system.

While Javo describes its technology as proprietary, Ashwell said it involves taking the roasted ground coffee or tea varieties, liquefying and concentrating them, then putting them into this bag-and-box system.

The products also can be used for iced desserts, said president Gary Lillian. For many of our customers, they come to us for expertise in how to flavor ice cream, he told the newspaper. We provide them with consulting services. In exchange, they will agree to buy our extract and flavors.

The company's fortunes rose with the announcement in July of a three-year agreement with the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores. After conducting a two-year test of iced-coffee beverages for the chain in 500 Northeastern locations, Javo successfully bid on and won the biggest slice of an expanded iced-coffee program nationwide.

We went through an extensive bidding process to identify those who had the capabilities to provide us with not just a proprietary product, but a premium proprietary product, Donald Driver, 7-Eleven's category manager for hot beverages in Dallas, told the newspaper. We chose Javo based on the quality and the fact that they could customize the product for us.

7-Eleven operates and franchises 5,400 stores in the United States, and Javo will service 3,500 of them on the East and West Coasts, where the majority of the volume will be, according to Driver.

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