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Peet’s Entering the Medium Roast Segment

Peet’s Coffee & Tea has announced that it is debuting two new medium roast coffees in an effort to tap into the largest product segment of the specialty coffee category in grocery stores. Known for its darker roasts, Peet’s entered the flavored coffee segment last year, and the company expects its new medium roast coffees to be available in all the stores it serves by the end of this year.

According to Drinks Business Review, medium roasts represent about a third of the specialty coffee in gorcery stores nationwide and approximately 40 percent in the eastern United States. Peet’s will roast the new coffee at its LEED Gold roasting facility in Emeryville, Calif.

“Medium roast is the largest product segment within specialty coffee, and our research clearly indicates it’s a big opportunity for us with both existing consumers and in attracting new consumers to the Peet’s brand,” said Pete O’Dea, the company’s president and CEO.

From the company:

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Aug 02, 2011 – Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Inc. announced today its entry into the largest product segment of the specialty coffee category in grocery stores with the debut of two new medium-roast coffees in ground and whole bean form: Peet’s Cafe Solano(TM) and Peet’s Cafe Domingo(TM). Consistent with consumers’ expectations for a superior medium roast, these coffees are smooth and balanced, but with more pure coffee flavor.

Peet’s stated strategy is to have the leading premium-quality, premium-priced product in every meaningful segment of specialty coffee. Famous for its signature deep-roast style, the Peet’s brand is already the quality and price leader in the dark-roast segment. In 2009, Peet’s entered the flavored-coffee segment with its launch of Godiva(R) brand coffees. Now, Peet’s is entering the medium-roast segment, which accounts for well over a third of specialty coffee sales in grocery stores nationally and more than 40% of sales in the eastern U.S.

“We are very excited about the national introduction of our new medium-roast Peet’s coffee lineup,” said Patrick O’Dea, president and CEO of Peet’s Coffee & Tea. “Medium roast is the largest product segment within specialty coffee, and our research clearly indicates it’s a big opportunity for us with both existing consumers and in attracting new consumers to the Peet’s brand. Leveraging the superior selling and merchandising power of our unique DSD system, we expect this new line to be in the majority of grocery stores we service by year’s end.”

The new medium-roast blends represent the culmination of extensive exploration and collaboration among Peet’s coffee buyers, artisan roasters, and expert tasters. “We brought every bit of our 45 years of coffee craft to the creation of these two blends,” said Doug Welsh, Peet’s roastmaster and vice president of coffee. “The style is smooth and balanced, with an abundance of pure, sweet coffee flavor. In Cafe Domingo, a select blend of Latin American coffees, this is expressed in cacao and toffee tones and a clean, crisp finish. Cafe Solano bespeaks the wider influence of a world blend, with lively and aromatic notes contributed by African and Indo-Pacific coffees.”

Peet’s will be roasting the new medium-roast line in its Gold LEED(R)-certified roasting facility in Alameda, Calif.

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