| US

Peet’s Coffee poaches Wrigley exec to deliver US growth

Kenneth “Casey” Keller Jr, who was responsible for Wrigley’s global mints and confectionery business, will take over from outgoing Peet’s CEO, Dave Burwick, in August

Peet’s Coffee has pinned the next phase of its growth on former Wrigley’s Global President, Kenneth Keller Jr, after the US coffee brand’s CEO, Dave Burwick, announced his departure.

Burwick, who had been at the helm of the 241-strong coffee shop chain since 2012, has reportedly already taken a new position as head of Boston Beer Company, which brews Samuel Adams beer.

In a press statement, JAB Holdings-owned Peet’s praised Keller’s track record of turning around Wrigley’s global business during in his seven-year tenure. He is credited with delivering above average industry growth and helping the confectionary giant establish global business units for its Mars-Wrigley’s combined global operation.

“We have ambitious plans at Peet's and Casey has the unique expertise and terrific experience to continue growing this great company,” said Olivier Goudet, chairman of Peet's Coffee's Board of Directors.

JAB will be seeking to utilise Keller’s expertise in driving global sales as it rolls out a strategy to market coffee products in the US soft drinks sector. The German conglomerate’s coffee business is currently locked in sales race with rivals Starbucks and Nestlé, which formed a ‘Global Coffee Alliance’ in May 2018 – a deal which saw Nestlé pay $7.15bn to market Starbucks products in the global retail market.

The private investment firm is widely observed to be building a beverages empire to rival US market leaders Coca-Cola and Pepsico while challenging the dominance of established coffee retailers such as Nestlé, Starbucks and Lavazza.

In June 2018, Peet’s launched a premium RTD iced espresso range in the US, revealing iced espressos represented 40% of its in-store cold coffee sales. The launch opened yet another front in JAB’s assault on the US soft drinks market. In July the successful completion of its Keurig Green Mountain-Dr Pepper merger created the third-largest US beverage company, giving JAB access to Dr Pepper’s beverage distribution networks in the US.

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