BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBS42 Community) – It’s the caffeinated acquisition everyone is talking about! In mid-August 2017, Royal Cup, Inc. and Icebox Coffee officially united forces in the rapidly growing and ever evolving coffee industry.
“The hottest thing in coffee right now is cold brew. So bringing that in, and offering that to our customers, was paramount,” said Chief Marketing Officer, Anne Pritz.
“I’m very excited about this partnership because it’s like coming back home essentially,” said Bebe Goodrich, founder of Icebox Coffee.
Icebox Coffee is a shelf-stable cold brew concentrate that was inspired by the coffee that Goodrich drank growing up in New Orleans.
“Cold brew coffee has been very disruptive actually in the coffee industry. There has been a 580% growth in that product line in five years- that’s unheard of,” Pritz said.
This statistic was virtually nonexistent during the humble beginnings of the Richgood Gourmet Company.
“In 2012, I genuinely got home with a bucket and a bag of coffee and started cold brewing. In five years we have a two-year-old, a three-year-old, and a five-year-old Icebox. And so it’s been a whirlwind,” said Goodrich.
Along the way, Royal Cup developed a relationship with Goodrich that helped her build her business from a bucket and a bag of coffee, to a nationwide supplier of delicious cold brew.
“Bebe Goodrich has built a company that is absolutely worthy of an acquisition like this. We are honored that she chose us. It’s that same symbiotic relationship,” Pritz said.
“Ultimately to get to the next level you have to find a partner that believes in you, believes in what you’re doing, and also has the opportunity to grow the product, and Royal cup for me is that partner. They share or not just from an economic perspective where they want to grow the product and grow the brand, but they also have a company culture that we are really excited to be a part of. They have succeeded for 100+ years because they serve their customers well, so we knew what we needed to do to serve them well, and consequently it served us well,” Goodrich said.
“It just felt like right now was probably the right time for Royal cup to bring liquid manufacturing onto our campus so that we would be able to continue to have the offering of coffee and tea that we are currently and historically known for, and quite frankly experts in, but maybe in a new format like liquid cold brew coffee and cold brew teas. Of course it opens the door to many ready to drink beverages, or RTD’s as we call them, because that industry is going to grow to 126 billion in 2024. So it’s really important that Royal Cup look ahead and make sure that our portfolio of projects is diverse enough to make sure that we hold that expertise in being the coffee and tea provider that we are today,” Pritz said.
The best part of this acquisition is that it gives Royal Cup Coffee a retail presence like they have never had before.
“So when you see the Icebox brand of coffee, you are going to know that they are manufactured right here in Birmingham and ready for you to drink coming from Royal Cup. For people who haven’t tried cold brew coffee, you have to try it. It’s going to be a very very smooth beverage, not bitter and not acidic if you get those notes when you drink coffee. It is steeped in filtered cooled water for more than 20 hours,” said Pritz.
Goodrich is now working as Royal Cup’s Director of Liquid Product Innovation. All of her employees are joining the Royal Cup family as well.
“We are looking to find efficiencies, and looking to find opportunities to support them and maybe make their jobs a little easier than they have been in the past,” Pritz said.
As for the future of Royal Cup Coffee and Tea, the sky is the limit when it comes to product innovation.
“What we see as far as what the future could be would be going beyond cold brew coffee. Maybe there is cold brew tea? Maybe there will be some extracts that are available? Maybe there are some bottled beverages at the market doesn’t even know they want yet. Because we’re bringing in liquid manufacturing that affords us the opportunity to look into those things and to be on the cutting edge going forward so that we are providing beverages to our customers that they might not even know they want yet,” said Pritz.
Learn more about everything Royal Cup has to offer by visiting their website, here. And do not forget to sign up for the CBS42 Coffee Club to enter for a chance to win a bag and a pound of Royal Cup Coffee! Click here to enter.