SWITZERLAND – Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) plans to launch the recently acquired Costa Coffee in ten of its twenty-eight markets across Europe next year.

This will take the ready-to-drink coffee brand, recently launched in the UK in countries including Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia and Switzerland.

The company said the move is critical in addressing the growing consumer and customer needs across multiple channels and occasions, in line with its beverage partner vision.

 “This is fantastic news that will build genuine value for our customers and for us,” said Coca Cola HBC CEO Zoran Bogdanovic.

“Adding a brand as strong as Costa Coffee to our portfolio will allow us to capture more consumer occasions, to partner even more closely with our customers across all channels and strengthen our ability to address every drinking moment throughout the day.

“Our well-established infrastructure, processes and capabilities around coffee means that we will hit the ground running with this exciting opportunity.”

As Coca-Cola strives to become a total beverage company, it has identified coffee as a target category that will address the low soda sales even as consumers turn to healthier beverages.

Coffee is a fast-growing beverage globally and according to Coca-Cola HBC, it is a multibillion-dollar category across its HBC’s 28 markets, forecast to grow 4% annually.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Coca Cola HBC to bring our great coffee to more consumers,” said Jennifer Mann, president of Global Ventures for The Coca Cola Company.

“This new agreement is another example of how Costa Coffee is helping Coca Cola become a total beverage company.”

The Coca-Cola Company acquired Costa Coffee in January for US$5.1 billion, expanding in vending and ready-to-drink products.

The global coffee category is projected to grow at 6% annual rate worldwide valued at US$0.5 trillion.

Last month, Coca-Cola and Costa launched a chilled ready-to-drink (RTD) Costa Coffee, their first in the UK after the merger.