BRIEF-Coca-Cola Brasil enters coffee segment with Cafe Leao

jueves 14 de julio de 2016 13:00 GYT

July 14 (Reuters) -

* Coca-Cola Brasil said on Thursday it is launching its first specialty coffee line under the name Leao, a brand known in Brazil principally for its tea which Coca-Cola acquired in 2007

* The company will market roasted gourmet quality arabica beans and ground coffee under the name Cafe Leao

* The beans will be acquired from a network of small to medium sized growers in the Cerrado region of Minas Gerais state and the mountain region of Espirito Santo state

* Roasting will be handled by Real Cafe, which is part of the Tristao Group in Espirito Santo

* Brazil is the world's No. 2 coffee consumer after the United States, as well as being the world's largest producer and exporter of the commodity, with the specialty coffee segment growing at 15-20 pct a year, roasters association Abic said

* The brand will appear on shelves initially in supermarkets in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Curitiba in the coming weeks and will be sold nationally beginning in January, 2017, the company said in a statement

* The company has no plans as yet to enter the fast growing capsule market but is not dismissing this in the future

* Vice president of new business at the company's local unit, Sandor Hagen, said: "Leao wants to bring the Brazilian the best coffee that is produced here", playing on the common conception locally that Brazil's best coffees are exported (Reporting by Reese Ewing)