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Cleveland Plain Dealer May 2013

5/7/2013 15:33

J.M. Smucker makes its first line of certified sustainable coffee, Life is good

Cleveland Plain Dealer

By: Janet H. Cho

May 1, 2013

J.M. Smucker makes its first line of certified sustainable coffee, Life is good

Link: http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2013/05/jm_smuckers_life_is_good_brand_coffee_will_be_its_first_certified-sustainable_coffee.html

ORRVILLE, Ohio -- The J.M. Smucker Co., the Orrville maker of best-selling Folgers Coffee, will soon have even more reasons to say "Life is good" -- via a new line of coffee coming out this summer.

This is the first time that Life is good, a lifestyle brand better known for its T-shirts, mugs and bumper stickers with sunny slogans, has lent its name to a food or beverage.

Smucker will make five varieties of Life is good ground coffee: Light Hearted light roast; Happy Medium medium roast; Dark & Daring dark roast; S'more to Love s'mores-flavored coffee; and Banana Bread Bliss banana-bread-flavored coffee.

J.M. Smucker executives sampled the coffee at management meetings in Orrville on Wednesday morning.

"They are quite good," said spokeswoman Maribeth Badertscher. "You will enjoy them."

The coffee, priced at about $6.99 to $7.99 per bag, will be available at Life is good retail shops, at national grocery chains and online at the Lifeisgood.com website.

And as with other Life is good products, 10 percent of net proceeds will go to the nonprofit Life is good Kids Foundation.

Life is good coffee is the first UTZ certified sustainable coffee for the Ohio-based manufacturer of Folgers, Millstone, and Dunkin' Donuts packaged coffee sold in supermarkets, as well as Cafe Bustelo and Cafe Pilon.

UTZ encourages farmers to learn better farming methods, improve working conditions and take better care of their children and the environment, according the company's website.

The partnership grew out of conversations between Bert Jacobs, "chief executive optimist" for Life is good, and Mark Smucker, president of U.S. retail coffee at J.M. Smucker and a fifth-generation member of the Smucker family. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Life is good is a great fit with our family of brands and will undoubtedly resonate with our consumers as it supports our sustainability initiatives as our first line of 100-percent certified coffee," Mark Smucker said in a statement.

Badertscher added: "We have similar organizational cultures and have a great respect for their quality and social responsibility."

Life is good's Best-in-Class business unit, which has been extending the company's brand to other products, approached the Smucker company as the market leader in packaged coffee, because Folgers is the nation's No. 1 brand of packaged coffee.

Coffee is the 115-year-old Smucker's biggest product category.