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Swedish coffee to flood US market

Gabriel Stein · 16 Apr 2011, 10:48

Published: 16 Apr 2011 10:48 GMT+02:00

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Kraft Foods has had a partnership with Starbucks, and had sold that popular brand of coffee as their high-end coffee product for years. However the distribution pact between the two companies was dissolved March 1, the Wall Street Journal reports. Kraft and Starbucks are still in arbitration to settle the dispute.

Now Kraft has chosen Gevalia. The brand will be available to more than 20,000 retailers throughout the U.S.

Gevalia, a nearly $400 million global brand, has a strong following in the U.S. where consumers can purchase the coffee online.

"Gevalia is known and loved by millions who've purchased it online because it delivers on its promise of rich, smooth taste that's never bitter," said Domenic Borrelli, Vice President of U.S. Coffee, in the press release.

"We're telling retailers the good news now. And, we're confident the convenience of being able to purchase Gevalia in stores will attract and delight an entirely new audience of discriminating coffee lovers."

Kraft Foods has a $5 billion global coffee business, which includes the well-known French brand Carte Noire and the German brand Jacobs.

Story continues below…

In the press release, Kraft Foods said Swedish citizens drink more coffee than citizens in almost any other country, adding that Gevalia is the number one Swedish brand. They even touted that Gevalia has the honor of being an official coffee of the Swedish Royal Court.

Ten Gevalia products will be sold in the first stage, and Kraft says they will “aggressively support the Gevalia retail expansion in August”.

Gabriel Stein (gobzee@gmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

13:10 April 16, 2011 by Swedesmith
My wife is going to be very happy!
13:16 April 16, 2011 by Russ Cobleigh
I wonder if the average American colon can handle it?
15:13 April 16, 2011 by janswed
Once in a starbucks in Canada I overheard 2 american Ladies discussing the fact the only coffee they drank at home in North Carolinia were ,wait for it,GEVALIA! I t has been availabe for years in the US, but not here in Canada,pity.
15:24 April 16, 2011 by Keith #5083
er..Swedesmith...it's the coffee they are sending to USA (quite right too) not you!


good business opportunity for you there, then.
16:07 April 16, 2011 by swedejane
I'm curious, what is so great about Gevalia? Sweden, to my knowledge, doesn't grow coffee beans so why would anyone care about swedish coffee?
18:04 April 16, 2011 by janswed
Swedejane ,for the same reason Sweden does not grow tobacco but one of the largest brand in the world of pipe tobacco is BORKUM RIFF and it is Swedish,it is called value added export, look it up.
18:55 April 16, 2011 by Nilspet
Gevalia is quite good I think. Would be interesting to see if it will go worldwide one day.
19:00 April 16, 2011 by mkvgtired
My mom and sister have been drinking this coffee for years. Maybe they've been ordering it online?
21:03 April 16, 2011 by calebian22
Many Swedish import stores in the US carry Gevalia, Zoegas and Löfbergs already.
21:43 April 16, 2011 by dizzymoe33
I love Gevalia coffee it has such a good flavor and strong. I will happy to hear I can find it at the local markets now because the only way to get the coffee is to order it online or by telephone. I am excited can't wait.
22:40 April 16, 2011 by swedejane

It took me all of 10sec to find out Borkum Riff is made in Denmark...with a swedish logo on it. It's no more swedish than all of that cheap Ikea furniture you probably have in your apartment right now.
23:16 April 16, 2011 by mikmak
@swedejane Hello and welcome to the world of branding. Now that your aware that there is a difference between manufacturing and marketing I am sure you will see the world from a new perspective. I know I was shocked when I found out that there weren't any magical gnomes inside Coca Cola vending machines like there are in the ads...
23:37 April 16, 2011 by Syftfel
Personally I would have preferred Zoega's mellanrost. By the way, how will the average American tongue pronounce the word "Gevalia'? I think maybe they should re-brand it to 'Jevahlya'.
01:05 April 17, 2011 by Michael Whitfield
Great news that Gevalia kaffe will be available in the stores in the US! I have been ordering it on line for 20+ years. My late wife loved it too. Actually most of the Swedish brands of kaffe are good. A kaffe that is really good also, is one called Nordquist that is currently only available by ordering on line. Too bad the Swedish beers are not exported to the US. I can remember that Pripps & Spendrupps are quite tasty. Sweden makes some good stuff.
02:25 April 17, 2011 by repat_xpat
The price point will save or kill it. This coffee is better than most, but its not Starbucks. If the price is anywhere near Starbucks it will die. So, who thinks Swedish socialist coffee will have a price point that competes with Starbucks?
07:57 April 17, 2011 by rise
Gevalia is awful with its bitter taste! Blå Mocka, now that's a fine coffee...
08:00 April 17, 2011 by cmblake6
Gevalia is absolutely superb coffee. Starbucks is urine in a cup by comparison. If it hadn't been such an uncontrollable pain via mail, I'd never have let my "subscription" die. If I can get it in the store? Count on it!

Swedish coffee is the best, Swedish women are the hottest, and Swedish Mausers are the finest.
08:05 April 17, 2011 by rybo1
I grew up north of Boston, in Massachusetts. Years ago I came to Sweden and became a Citizen. One of the first things I noticed in Sweden was how good the coffee was. We drink Gevalia unless there's a good deal with another brand.

American coffee, as I remember smells wonderful, but tastes like crap, is watery and not robust. Hopefully, if Gevalia catches on many Americans will have the opportunity to taste real coffee, maybe for the first time in their lives.
09:21 April 17, 2011 by Åskar
After being spammed by them there is no way I would knowingly drink Gevalia or anything else from Kraft.
09:22 April 17, 2011 by StockholmSam
I find this a very curious story because I was very familiar with Gevalia before moving from the USA to Sweden (when I was 35) as we bought it from local stores for years. It was on store shelves in Tennessee and North Carolina as far back as I can remember.
10:02 April 17, 2011 by crunchy2k
What is going to be next, maybe Swedish bananas?
10:17 April 17, 2011 by swedejane
Personally, I don't see people amassing in droves to buy swedish coffee...people do not associate sweden with coffee. They associate sweden with overly safe automobiles and cheap furniture.
10:22 April 17, 2011 by mbe
i think this is fantastic... good for business in sweden... good for all americans to get a great product.. wish they would import zoegas too... been enjoying swedish coffee for many years... now we can get it in the stores... fantastic...
16:19 April 17, 2011 by hlmencken56
Will this turn Americans into homosexuals?
17:05 April 17, 2011 by ELaimins
This is really cool. Swedish coffee is THE BEST. I fell in love with it over a decade ago, and have been buying it online. Good stuff.
17:11 April 17, 2011 by nickknock
Sorry, IKEA has been selling coffee for years.
18:04 April 17, 2011 by janswed
Swedjane oure hattred fore Sweden, do no blame us that youre boyfreind turnded to bi GAY it probablay had as lot to with youre attitude.
18:11 April 17, 2011 by Pacey
This is only there so Swedes allows them to open Starbucks! Who drinks Swedish coffee anyways?
19:18 April 17, 2011 by Buckshot
Starbucks tastes like horsepiss.
21:44 April 17, 2011 by cornpone
Swedish coffee is bitter like the people. But kokcafe is really good. Us Americans were like the Brits tea drinkers so our coffee is made to a tea drinkers taste.
22:23 April 17, 2011 by sgt_doom
Buckshot is exactly on target, or as we say in Seattle, Starbucks is only for the tourists.

We have many, many outstanding brands throughout America, with the top ones being found in Seattle, Miami and Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz Dark is outstanding, from Santa Cruz Brewing).

In Seattle, I would recommend Lighthouse, Caffe Vita, Bauhaus, and a number of others.

Tusen tak, as my ancestors said, but I think I'll pass.....
22:24 April 17, 2011 by Rishonim

And how did you go about tasting the horsepiss? Did you drink it straight from the source and was it a male horse in heat?
22:57 April 17, 2011 by cornpone
Your taste buds are blasted if you like bitter swedish coffee. BTW this whole thing is like the bs notion that america doesn't have good beer or wine or food either. Total bs. America has loads of mico brews, small vinyards and organic produce that puts every socialist euro country to shame. You can live on A1 quality organic food here for the price of the factory farmed sorry excuse for food you get in any Euroland.
23:06 April 17, 2011 by swedejane

Please save your hysterics. I love sweden very much, and swedish culture...but let's be honest, the US has superior coffee (at least choice of coffee...same for beer too). Any coffee that you buy as a vacuum packed brick and is pre-ground is not good coffee. For the best coffee, one must grind the beans right before serving.
23:42 April 17, 2011 by cornpone

Right on sista! And that goes for all food and bev. America has choices, quality and variety that no Euroweenie land has. We even got frog legs if you're a frenchy.
00:12 April 18, 2011 by EP
Coffee in Sweden tastes like a rotten dish rag. Awful.
03:31 April 18, 2011 by MikeSar
I always buy, and drink, Swedish coffee at the fine Ikea store in Emeryville, near Berkeley. I will be glad to buy Gevalia at local food stores closer. Incidentally, my uncle, way back in the 1930s, flew coffee beans from Chiapas, in southern Mexico, to the Gulf ports that shipped it to "Europe", most probably including Scandinavia. Lack of roads made this viable, in 1939, WWII killed the business and his airline moved to Merida, Yucatan. The Ikea store reminds me of the civility of life I found when I worked in Sweden, for a short few months. I still cherish the memories and the red wine in Santa Lucia Day...
03:48 April 18, 2011 by joyce turco
Swedish coffee is excellent! The hotel I stayed at in Karlskrona had the best coffee I have ever had. Perhaps some people don't know how to make it the right way.
07:00 April 18, 2011 by Rishonim
Karlskrona, the most depressing place in the whole world.
08:48 April 18, 2011 by cjsutton
Finally some descent coffee in America. I've been buying this off and on over the years off the internet. Now I can get it at the store.
11:41 April 18, 2011 by NorthDakotaSwede
Next time I visit IKEA I will give it a try, just for the heck of it. It had better make a good first impression. Someone talked about good Swedish beer. Why are all

the people in the nightclub slide-shows on The Local drinking Heineken, then?

Another thing - when I visited a huge candy shop in Karlstad, why could I not

find sweet licorice. Why was all the licorice salted? Ish...
13:24 April 18, 2011 by Marc the Texan
@Swedejane - Coffee branding is more in the roasting, and less in the growing. They roast a lot of coffee in Sweden.

In the US, every time I need a new coffee machine, I order a bag of Gevalia that comes with the free coffee maker. The great thing is the coffee makers have gotten better and better over the years. I like Gevalia just fine. I'm not a coffee snob. When it comes to coffee chains in my opinion Costa Bros. is better than Espresso House but Espresso House is better than Starbucks.
14:00 April 18, 2011 by itsspideyman
I'm from Louisiana and we have fine coffees here but I've had the Gevalia and it's excellent. Plus, the instant is the best I've ever had. I have several bags here to help me get through my dissertation. Bring it here!
15:54 April 18, 2011 by swedejane
@marc the texan

Oh, well I didn't know you got a free coffee maker with every bag of Gevalia. That changes everything! Clearly, this is good coffee!

I will give this Gevalia a shot, but I'll bet 500sek that it tastes like paint compared to real coffee. BTW, as a helpful hint: if it's good coffee they don't have to throw in free coffee makers. And it doesn't come pre-ground, vacuum packed like a brick. I don't care about "branding"...are you drinking the "brand"? If you know anything about coffee, then you do know it's about the bean...which is why kona tastes differently than colombian.
18:21 April 18, 2011 by donutwallah
It's good stuff. In the UK we pay double the Swedish price for coffee. I suspect that a cartel is operating here.
10:51 April 19, 2011 by Marc the Texan

Good points. I wouldn't argue with that. I'm not into branding as such, but a lot of people are. Just pointing it out. A free coffee maker does make it taste better. Also, you can't get the free coffee maker with every bag. You have to find the special offer. I find them often and use them every few years.
14:49 April 19, 2011 by mikewhite
Is this fair trade coffee, by any chance ?

I found the Hemköp fairtrade stuff quite good.
00:36 April 23, 2011 by Happy Birthday...
@repat_xpat (#15) and others trying to brand Gevalia "socialist" or "Swedish" coffee:

Gevalia was bought by General Foods in 1971. Genera Foods in turn was 1985 aquired by Philip Morris Companies that nowadays calls itself Altria and who in 1988 gobbled up Kraft.

Altria's headquarters is situated in Virginia, US and Gevalia HQ in Tarrytown, New York, US. That's "Swedish" "socialist" coffee for you!

03:18 April 23, 2011 by LordSqueak
Gevalia also have whole beans if you're a snob. =)
05:07 April 23, 2011 by tobbew
Starbucks = over priced, bitter and just awful.

Gevalia = No "american" coffee can touch the taste of this coffee.
21:29 March 4, 2012 by Martin83
Gevalia?? I wouldn't stain my coffee machine with that wanna be coffee. Try Zoegas - Skånerost instead ;)
09:06 July 8, 2012 by dtrocilo
This appalling news made me feel sorry for USA citizens for the first time. Hey, Swedes, when are you going to face the fact that this sour, odourless, liquid you swallow is NOT coffee??
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