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The Biggest Coffee Business News Stories of 2023

Coffee Business News 2023

To kick off our 2023 Year in Review series, we look back on some of the biggest business stories of the year in the specialty coffee industry.

As they have throughout the past decade, acquisitions, mergers and investments abounded in 2023, signaling continued optimism for the growth of specialty coffee.

Beyond the board room, one of the biggest business stories of the year had to be Fairtrade International’s historic raise to its baseline prices for certified coffee (we’ll cover this in a forthcoming piece on 2023 green coffee news).

The move by Fairtrade International was in direct response to supply chain power imbalances and widespread poverty among smallholder coffee farmers. Ironically, it is that very imbalance of power that has allowed many of the coffee world’s downstream players to sharpen up their pitch decks and thrive. 

Here are some of the biggest coffee business stories of 2023:

Acquisitions and Mergers


Sustainable Harvest and Founder David Griswold at the 2018 Let’s Talk Coffee event in Colombia. Daily Coffee News photo by Nick Brown.

Sucafina Acquires US Green Coffee Trader Sustainable Harvest

Sustainable Harvest, which was founded by David Griswold in 1997, will now be part of Sucafina North America, which operates under the name Sucafina Specialty. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, although the acquisition includes a 100% stake… read more

Chobani Buys La Colombe Coffee for $900 Million

The deal follows nearly a decade’s worth of interest in the coffee company from Chobani Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, who became the majority owner and primary investor in La Colombe in 2015 with an approximately $60 million investment… read more

NKG Acquires Green Coffee Companies Nordic Approach and Tropiq

Since its founding by Morten Wennersgaard and Andreas Hertzberg in Oslo in 2011, Nordic Approach has been focused primarily on high-quality, traceable specialty coffees with progressive approaches towards long-term producer partnerships and equitable pricing… read more

NY Firm General Atlantic Acquires Joe & the Juice for $641 Million

the quick-service coffee, juice and sandwich chain has grown from 175 stores to 360 stores in 18 countries, including approximately 70 stores in major United States markets such as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington D.C… read more

FairWave Acquires Milwaukee’s Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.

FairWave, which launched in 2020 with ownership stakes in Kansas City-based The Roasterie and Messenger Coffee, describes itself as a “collective” of specialty coffee brands that maintain their identities and local focuses while leveraging shared resources. The group now owns 10 brands throughout the midwest United States… read more

Roaster-Retailers Kaldi’s Coffee and Dancing Goats Coffee Merge

The deal brings together two roasting and retail companies that helped introduce specialty coffee and “Third Wave” coffee concepts to their respective regions… read more

Fresh Funding


Credit: The Cumulus Coffee Company

Howard Schultz Part of $20.3 Million Seed for Pod-Based Cold Coffee Startup Cumulus

New York-based home coffee equipment startup Cumulus Coffee Company announced today that it raised $20.3 million in seed funding while preparing to bring its home cold coffee machine to market… read more

Ansā Scores $9 Million More for U.S. Roasting Machine Launch

Israeli coffee tech startup Ansā closed a US$9 million funding round to support the launch of its countertop roasting machine in North America… read more

Coffee Shop Business Solutions Provider Odeko Raises $53 Million More

Coffee shop inventory management and ordering solutions provider Odeko has closed a $53 million Series D funding round, bringing the company’s total funding up to approximately $177 million… read more

US-Based The Green Coffee Company Secures $25 Million More

Headquartered in the United States under the investment umbrella of the firm Legacy Group, GCC maintains coffee production operations in Colombia, with a base in Medellín… read more

Industry News


Roast Magazine Announces 2024 Roaster of the Year Winners

Bridge City Coffee and Verve Coffee Roasters have won Roast magazine’s 20th annual Roaster of the Year award. The two coffee roasting companies will be featured in the trade publication’s November/December 2023 issue… read more

NCA Economic Impact Report: US Consumers Spend $301 Million Per Day on Coffee

Consumers in the United States spent nearly $110 billion on coffee and related goods in 2022, which breaks down to approximately $301 million per day, according to a new economic impact report commissioned by the U.S. National Coffee Association (NCA)… read more

Federal Judge Approves Final $12 Million Settlement in Kona Labeling Case

The final approval brings an end to a four-year-old class action suit that has resulted in $33.4 million in settlements among 21 defendants, including coffee roasting companies, as well as large resellers such as Costco, Walmart, Amazon and Kroger… read more

Mercon Coffee Group Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Restructuring under Chapter 11 bankruptcy would allow The Netherlands-based coffee conglomerate to remain in business in order to pay off its debts… read more

The Original Caribou Coffee Shop in Minnesota is Closing

The closing marks the end of an era for the iconic brand, which helped lay the foundation for the specialty coffee industry as it exists today… read more