Coca-Cola brands Minute Maid and Simply will no longer be relegated to the beverage aisle and center store.
Shoppers can expect to see these iconic brands in the produce aisle on fresh citrus and grape products following a recent licensing agreement with global sales and marketing company Frutura and its subsidiary, Dayka and Hackett, a California-based grower, packer and distributor.
The initial product licensing deal includes:
“It’s surreal for us to be the first one that they’ve selected to use their brands in fresh produce,” Frutura CEO David Krause told The Packer. “It says to us that they believe in our quality control, the vertically integrated company that we have built and our capability to source from multiple regions around the globe and control that supply.”
The deal has been in the works for about six months, he added.
“We were approached by Coca Cola; they reached out first,” Krause said. “We believe [they were] largely driven by the platform that we have built and how our company is striving to deliver something unique in today’s world.”
The first milestone for the Simply Select and Minute Maid product launch starts with the citrus program, which is slated to appear at retail in the late second quarter or early third quarter of 2023 in U.S. markets, followed by the grape category and, lastly, Japanese markets, Krause said.
“Partnering with the iconic Coca-Cola Company, and their globally recognized and respected brands, is a transformative moment for our company and for Frutura,” Dayka & Hackett CEO Tim Dayka, who crafted the licensing agreement on Frutura’s behalf, said in a news release. “This will allow us to increase our market penetration in a meaningful way, as these brands resonate so strongly with the discriminating consumer.”
The licensing agreement encompasses Dayka & Hackett’s citrus category, which includes clementines, lemons, limes, oranges and mandarins, as well as its grape category, which includes premium grape varieties such as green, red and black seedless.
“The uniqueness of why [Coca-Cola] pursued us is that we have divisions that Dayka & Hackett can source from within the Frutura family,” Krause said. “It made sense for Dayka & Hackett to be the point on this agreement because they have the distribution throughout the North American market. But, equally as important, is their family members within Frutura. They can go to Chile, Uruguay, Peru and other countries to source the product right from our own family.”
For Krause, this deal was not an overnight stroke of luck but instead the result of a thoughtful, long-term strategy built since Frutura’s inception.
“We’ve acquired great companies with fabulous management teams, and we’ve sort of left them alone, running their own trade brands, if you will,” Krause said. “We think of those as brands that the industry knows well.”
The customer knows these products, Krause said, but they don’t necessarily connect with a brand identity.
“For us, this is an opportunity to take this consumer brand — Coca Cola — and put an overarching strategy that now connects all of our supply-based business into one common brand,” he said. “We think that’s the natural evolution for Futura and a way for us to connect that much closer to the consumer and satisfy our customers at the same time.”