Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) and ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) announce the companies have reached an agreement to make Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa available in K-Cup portion packs for the Keurig® Single-Cup Brewing System. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.The new Swiss Miss K-Cup portion pack will hold the perfect amount of Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa to create a delicious, sweet and classic beverage that will appeal to the entire family. Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa will be offered in a variety of at home channels for Keurig consumers beginning in August 2011. The new K-Cup portion pack will be offered alongside CafÃ© Escapes®, a line of dairy-based beverages in K-Cup portion packs geared to adult consumers looking to treat themselves with a delicious, indulgent reward.”We are excited to welcome Swiss Miss into the GMCR family and to offer Keurig users the leading hot cocoa brand in K-Cup portion packs,” says Lawrence J. Blanford, GMCR President and CEO. “With Swiss Miss, we are adding another valued partner that expands consumer choice within the Keurig Brewing System. The new Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa K-Cup portion pack will deliver to consumers a beloved beverage with the exceptional quality and taste they expect from the Keurig System.”First introduced in grocery stores in 1959, Swiss Miss has a rich history as the “original” hot cocoa. Swiss Miss currently is the leader in category dollar share at grocery, with the No. 1 and No. 2 highest selling cocoa in each hot cocoa segment, according to IRI data for the latest 52 weeks ending April 10, 2011. Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa is made in a real dairy where fresh milk from local farms is delivered daily, dried, and blended with premium, imported cocoa. This quality and care will be captured and delivered in the new Swiss Miss K-Cup portion packs.”The Keurig Brewing System will be a brand new way consumers can easily make and enjoy a mug of Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa,” said David Palfenier, Consumer Foods President at ConAgra Foods. “Swiss Miss is proud to have the most loyal consumers of all hot cocoa brands, and we know they will be excited to experience our hot cocoa in this new format.”GMCR’s Keurig Single-Cup brewers for in-home and office use utilize patented, innovative brewing and single-cup technology to deliver a fresh-brewed, perfect cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa every time at just the touch of a button. Brewers with Keurig Brewed® technology were the top five selling coffeemakers in the U.S. on a dollar basis for the period of October through December 2010 and represented an estimated 49% of total coffeemaker dollar sales for that period according to The NPD Group / CREST®.About ConAgra Foods, Inc.ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America’s leading food companies, with brands in 97 percent of America’s households. Consumers find Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt’s, Marie Callender’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim, Snack Pack and many other ConAgra Foods brands in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong business-to-business presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com(link is external).About Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.As a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR), is recognized for its award-winning coffees, innovative brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. GMCR’s operations are managed through three business units. The Keurig business unit is comprised of Keurig, Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of GMCR. Keurig is a pioneer and leading manufacturer of gourmet single-cup brewing systems for both at-home and away-from home use, predominantly in North America. The Specialty Coffee business unit produces, markets and sells coffee, tea, hot cocoa and other beverages in a variety of packaging formats, including K-Cup® portion packs for Keurig Single-Cup Brewers. The Canadian business unit produces, markets and sells coffees in K-Cup portion packs and other packaging formats and is responsible for managing the Van Houtte business as well as the grocery channel for all GMCR coffee brand sales in Canada. GMCR supports local and global communities by offsetting 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions, investing in sustainably-grown coffee, and allocating at least five percent of its pre-tax profits to socially and environmentally responsible initiatives.GMCR routinely posts information that may be of importance to investors in the Investor Relations section of its website, including news releases and its complete financial statements, as filed with the SEC. The Company encourages investors to consult this section of its website regularly for important information and news. Additionally, by subscribing to the Company’s automatic email news release delivery, individuals can receive news directly from GMCR as it is released. For more information, please visit www.GMCR.com(link is external).GMCR Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements contained herein are not based on historical fact and are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the applicable securities laws and regulations. Generally, these statements can be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “feel,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “project,” “should,” “would,” and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Owing to the uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, actual results could differ materially from those stated here. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the impact on sales and profitability of consumer sentiment in this difficult economic environment, the Company’s success in efficiently expanding operations and capacity to meet growth, the Company’s success in efficiently and effectively integrating the Company’s acquisitions, the Company’s success in introducing and producing new product offerings, the ability of lenders to honor their commitments under the Company’s credit facility, competition and other business conditions in the coffee industry and food industry in general, fluctuations in availability and cost of high-quality green coffee, any other increases in costs including fuel, Keurig’s ability to continue to grow and build profits with its roaster partners in the At Home and Away from Home businesses, the Company experiencing product liability, product recall and higher than anticipated rates of warranty expense or sales returns associated with a product quality or safety issue, the impact of the loss of major customers for the Company or reduction in the volume of purchases by major customers, delays in the timing of adding new locations with existing customers, the Company’s level of success in continuing to attract new customers, sales mix variances, weather and special or unusual events, the impact of the inquiry initiated by the SEC and any related litigation or additional governmental investigative or enforcement proceedings, as well as other risks described more fully in the Company’s filings with the SEC. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s analysis as of the date of this release. The Company does not undertake to revise these statements to reflect subsequent developments, other than in its regular, quarterly earnings releases.
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Lagers, session IPAs, pilsners, wheat beers…these are the standard summer releases from craft breweries, who look to lighten things up when the mercury rises. It’s lawnmower beer season.Catawba has chosen a completely different route with their King Coconut, a jet black porter with all of the roasted, chocolate notes that you’d expect from this style. Porters are typically quaffed in the dead of winter, preferably in front of a fireplace while a storm drops six inches of fresh on the nearest skiable mountain. But as the name implies, Catawba ages King Coconut on a mountain of toasted coconut for several weeks to add an additional layer of tropical sweetness and justify the palm trees on the label.Catawba has called this beer a “candy bar in a can,” and it’s definitely on the sweeter side of things, delivering a heavy hit of cocoa. The coconut, on the other hand, is understated. Just a mild hint of the fruit in the nose and taste. I think it’s just there to provide a bit of whimsy to this typically stuffy style of beer. I appreciate Catawba’s restraint in the use of coconut, because I’m typically not a huge fan of the vile fruit. Yes, I said vile. I’m not sure why anyone would want to eat tiny shreds of paper, but hey, to each his own.I’m happy to say that it all works seamlessly in the King Coconut—chocolate, coconut, and roasted coffee all working hand in hand in this a-typical summer beer that is somehow reminiscent of the Coke Floats I used to beg my parents for when I was a kid. Now there’s an idea. If you truly want to turn King Coconut into a summer treat, take a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drop it right into a pint of this porter. Now that’s a summer beer.Is this the can of brew you’ll reach for after mowing the lawn, or while tubing the river? Probably not. But King Coconut is built to pair with barbecue, or a campfire, or your neighbor’s annual luau. Yeah, put on a coconut bra and show up to that party with a sixer of King Coconut. Seems like a summery thing to do to me.