Farmer Brothers, a 100-year-old manufacturer, wholesaler, and distributor of coffee, tea, and culinary products, announced plans to launch a new specialty coffee line, the Artisan Collection by Farmer Brothers. The line is set to hit the market this August.

Thanks to its 2007 acquisition of Coffee Bean International—one of the first specialty coffee roasters in the U.S.—Farmer Brothers was able to break its traditional coffee mold and jump into the quickly growing gourmet coffee market with the artisan line.

Joe Prewett, vice president of marketing for Farmer Brothers, says more than half of U.S. consumers drink gourmet coffee. This provides a huge market and profit potential for the collection, which marks the brand’s first foray into gourmet coffee.

“We needed to reassess our product line and develop a firmer strategy on how we were going to access the specialty coffee segment,” Prewett says. “The Artisan Collection is our expression of specialty coffee. It gives us access to parts of the market that historically we haven’t been going after.”

Acknowledging the stiff competition in the market, Prewett says the Artisan Collection differentiates itself as a carbon-neutrally produced coffee line, offsetting any negative impact on the environment during its creation. In addition, the hand-roasted coffee is Rainforest Alliance, organic, and Fair Trade–certified.

Prewett also points out that each single-brew portion pack is equipped with a one-way degassing valve, which preserves freshness and gives the consumer a “better beverage experience.”

Prewett says the Artisan Collection aims to reach breakfast destinations—quick serves and fast casuals included—that serve premium coffee, as well as C-stores that compete for breakfast and afternoon coffee business.

“We think of ourselves as a big part of breakfast across America,” Prewett says.

To spread the word about the coffee, which also comes in five-pound bulk bags, Farmer Brothers is sampling the product at regional restaurant shows, developing a new website that will launch in July, and engaging consumers through a social marketing platform.

By Mary Avant

Beverage, Breakfast, Menu Innovations, News, Sustainability, Farmer Brothers