Nestlé Is Set To Buy Seattle's Best From Starbucks This Year

You've definitely heard of Starbucks, but you've probably heard of Seattle's Best Coffee as well. Maybe you recognize the brand from the coffee section at your local gas station or have seen the white and red packages in the grocery store aisles. You probably didn't know that Starbucks owns them both. That's right, Seattle-based Starbucks acquired Seattle's Best Coffee in 2003, as part of a larger purchase of Seattle Coffee Co.from then-Popeyes owner AFC Enterprises (via Investopedia).

It wasn't until 2010 that Seattle's Best really became useful to Starbucks. At the time, the Seattle-based coffee giants were losing market share to cheaper alternatives like McDonald's, which started adding lattes, cappuccinos, and other fancy espresso drinks to their menu in 2009 at a fraction of Starbucks's prices, and long-standing cheaper place to buy a latte, Dunkin'. Starbucks cleverly set their more reasonably priced Seattle Coffee Co. brands up in Mickey D's rival, Burger King, as well as in gas stations and movie theaters, per Investopedia. Now, the coffee company is changing hands once again.

Starbucks puts Seattle's Best up for sale

You would think Starbucks would still want to retain its lower-priced brand, as lower-priced take-out coffee from McDonald's has accelerated in the last few years with the opening of McCafe and expansion into such classic Starbucks fare as Caramel Macchiatos. But apparently, the brand is ready to move on.

Starbucks has entered into an agreement to sell the brand to Nestlé for an undisclosed sum (per Yahoo! Finance). However, Daily Coffee News reports that Starbucks and Nestlé have a "Global Coffee Alliance," which they say this deal will strengthen. Ever picked up packaged Starbucks coffee or pods at the supermarket? Those are both actually sold by Swiss giant Nestlé. According to Reuters, Nestlé paid $7.15 billion for the privilege of putting Starbucks coffee in K-Cups in 2018. The companies describe their relationship as a partnership.

Nestlé appears to be growing its coffee portfolio. It currently owns five coffee brands, not only owns its famous Nescafe and Nespresso brands, but also Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Starbucks Coffee at Home, and Blue Bottle Coffee, with Seattle's Best rounding out an even six. The deal is expected to close before the end of this year, per Yahoo! Finance.