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December 15, 2023

Chobani buys La Colombe in $900 million deal

The Greek yogurt brand says the Philadelphia coffee company will continue to operate independently

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La Colombe sold to Chobani Richard B. Levine/Imagn

La Colombe's ready-to-drink coffee line has attracted big-name investors like Keurig Dr. Pepper and now Chobani, which bought the Philly coffee roaster that started in Fishtown for $900 on Friday, Dec. 15

Chobani has acquired the Philadelphia coffee roaster La Colombe in a whopping $900 million sale, the brands announced Friday.

The Greek yogurt company said that La Colombe, which was founded in Fishtown in 1994, will continue to operate independently under the terms of the acquisition. The deal was financed through a combination of cash on hand, a substantial loan and the transfer of Keurig Dr. Pepper's minority equity stake in La Colombe into Chobani. Keurig Dr. Pepper invested $300 million in the coffee brand in July.

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"We've already made an investment in the coffee category with our creamers and are excited about bringing La Colombe into the Chobani family, and offering the delicious, high-quality cold brew and ready-to-drink craftmanship of La Colombe to a next generation of consumers," Hamdi Ulukaya, the company's founder and CEO, said in a statement. "We have never been stronger or better positioned to chart our next chapter of growth."

Chobani appears to be chiefly interested in La Colombe's ready-to-drink coffee line, which has tripled in growth in the past five years. The new parent company cited consumers' growing preference for cold coffee, like La Colombe's canned lattes and cold brew. Earlier this year, CNN reported that Gen Z was driving this shift through its strong preference for ready-to-drink coffee products over hot brewed java. Cold drinks now make up to 75% of Starbucks' U.S. beverage sales. 

"Today, something beautiful happened," La Colombe said in a statement posted to its Instagram. "@lacolombecoffee and @chobani became one family, coming together to make better food and coffee for all. More magic is on the way."

While Chobani was vague on its expansion plans for its new property, it promised to "meaningfully expand the reach" of La Colombe's single-serve product line and provide "access to grow underdeveloped channels like convenience retail."

It is unclear if new cafes will be a part of this growth. La Colombe currently operates 32 locations in U.S. cities including New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. It also boasts four cafes in its hometown of Philadelphia. 

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