Richardson, Texas-based NuZee Inc., a leading coffee co-packing and technology company, announced entering into a five-year global licensing agreement with Stone Brewing, Escondido, Calif.
Under the exclusive agreement, NuZee intends to co-manufacture and distribute Stone Brewing specialty coffee products nationwide through a vast network of natural grocery, traditional grocery, and convenience store channels, as well as office coffee and hotel brokers and distributors. NuZee also intends to build a strong direct-to-consumer (D2C) business by marketing the specialty coffee line to craft beverage customers around the world on www.stoneroasting.com, it says.
The new product line is expected to launch in Q3 2023.
NuZee will produce a full line of specialty coffee products, including its proprietary single-serve DRIPKIT pour-overs, single-serve brew bags, whole bean 12-ounce coffee bags and industrial compostable capsules all to be branded under the Stone name, it says. Previously, NuZee provided Stone with highly coveted seasonal coffees corresponding with special-release beers, the company notes.
The new line of coffee will adopt the branding and flavor characteristics of three of Stone Brewing's most popular brands: Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager and Stone Xocoveza.
Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale is heralded for its groundbreaking bitterness, bold attributes — NuZee-produced coffees will reflect this legendary ale, it says. Meanwhile, Stone's Buenaveza coffee will reflect the cross-border influence of the beer with beans sourced from Mexico, while Stone Xocoveza coffee will adopt the indulgence of Stone's favorite winter beer, brewed with the key ingredients found in Mexican hot chocolate, it adds.
"We are delighted to build upon the success of our past collaborations and expand our partnership with our San Diego neighbors at Stone,” said Masa Higashida, CEO of NuZee, in a statement. “Our team will capitalize on the remarkable brand recognition and expanding influence of the Stone brand, synergizing it with our exceptional coffees and coffee-related offerings. We believe that this agreement will drive significant revenue growth, which will significantly increase shareholder value. We look forward to serving Stone's expansive consumer audience and effectively driving long-term shareholder value."
Erin Smith, Stone Brewing’s senior vice president of marketing, added, "There is a definite overlap in what attracts people to craft beer and to craft coffee. Quality, intention, and passion are what our fans seek and we're confident that this new line of first-class specialty coffees will be an exciting new way for them to enjoy the Stone brand."