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Starbucks Coffee Co. and Unilever yesterday said they had inked an exclusive licensing agreement for the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of Starbucks ice cream in the U.S. and Canada.
"Ice cream is a core strategic category for Unilever, generating more than $6 billion in annual sales for us globally," said Peter Ter Kulve, Unilever s.v.p., Global Ice Cream. "Starbucks is recognized around the world for its high-quality coffee and innovative approach to products, and thus Starbucks-branded super-premium ice cream is a perfect complement to our portfolio."
The ice cream licensing agreement builds upon an existing relationship for the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of Starbucks Tazo ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, which was announced last month. Starbucks and the Pepsi/Lipton Tea Partnership (PLP), a joint venture between Unilever and PepsiCo, signed a licensing agreement to manage the product line.
"Unilever's industry-leading innovation and commitment to social responsibility with brands like Ben & Jerry's are well-aligned with our values and vision for the business," said Gerry Lopez, president, Starbucks Global Consumer Products, Starbucks Foodservice, and Seattle's Best Coffee. "This relationship will enable us to introduce new products and extend the Starbucks experience to a larger base of consumers."