Wheel of acquisitions, turn turn turn. Reuters reports that Italian coffee company Lavazza has purchased Mars Drinks, the coffee arm of Mars Inc. Known more for their candy—M&M’s, Snickers, Skittles, Starburst, etc—Mars has agreed to sell their coffee businesses for a reported $650 million.
According to Reuters, Lavazza is hoping the purchase will increase their global presence, particularly in “office coffee service (OCS) and vending machine segments,” where Mars owned leading brands Flavia and Klinx systems.
“This acquisition strengthens Lavazza’s position in the OCS and vending segments, which offer considerable opportunities for growth and development,” said Antonio Baravalle, Lavazza CEO.
The purchase from Mars comes hot on the heels of Lavazza’s July acquisition of Blue Pod Coffee in Australia, a move that helped the Italian company eclipse 2 billion euros in revenue. The deal is expected to be in effect by the end of the year, with Lavazza acquiring “Mars’ coffee businesses in North America, Canada, Japan and in Europe, including its production plants in Britain and North America.”
Generally speaking, the newest acquisition has little effect on specialty coffee. Office coffee is still gonna be office coffee. You're still going to need to bring your own coffee and AeroPress to your desk to get a halfway decent midday cup. The only real difference for you is that you'll now be subject to whomever is pouring themselves a cup of office coffee—and undoubtedly loading it up with powdered creamer and artificial sweeteners—ranting about how the coffee used to be better.