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SEATTLE & PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Starbucks Coffee Co. and PepsiCo, through their joint-venture partnership, the North American Coffee Partnership, said yesterday that they've signed a distribution agreement for Ethos water that will substantially boost penetration of the branded water to retail stores in the U.S. and Canada.
Further, by continuing to make a five-cent donation for each bottle of Ethos water sold in all distribution channels, both companies are affirming Starbucks' contribution goal set last year of at least $10 million by the end of 2010, to help children and their communities around the world obtain clean drinking water.
Under the agreement, the North American Coffee Partnership will assume responsibility for the co-packing, distribution, and marketing of Ethos products in the U.S. and Canada. PepsiCo will use its resources, customer insights and knowledge of the water category to increase the reach of the brand outside of the Starbucks retail store environment.
Currently, Ethos water is available at more than 5,000 Starbucks stores and several smaller local retailers in the U.S. Plans are in place to expand distribution of Ethos water by late 2007 with additional bottle sizes and case packs.
"Building upon our very successful and long-term partnership with PepsiCo, we will ultimately increase Ethos Water's reach to more than 100,000 points of distribution, helping raise awareness of the brand and the severity of the world water crisis," said Gerry Lopez, president, Starbucks Global Consumer Products. "Ethos Water's unique business model validates that doing good drives business success."
Ethos Water, was founded in 2002 by Peter Thum and Jonathan Greenblatt, and acquired by Starbucks in April 2005. While working in South Africa in 2000 and 2001, Thum witnessed, first-hand, people living with the severity of the world water crisis. He said he founded Ethos as a means to raise awareness and funds to bring clean water to children around the world, under the simple principle "water for water."
The more than 10-year-old joint-venture partnership North American Coffee Partnership introduced bottled Starbucks Frappuccino coffee drinks in 1996 and Starbucks DoubleShot espresso drink in 2002. To date, these Starbucks coffee drinks remain the No. 1 products in their respective segments of the ready-to-drink coffee category in the United States, according to Starbucks.