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Green Mountain Coffee Roasters teams up with Metro

The specialty coffee maker introduces Irresistibles brand K-Cup packs

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has signed a deal to produce private-label coffee pods for Metro stores in Quebec and Ontario.

The pods will be sold under Metro’s Irresistibles brand and will be compatible with Green Mountain’s Keurig K’Cup brewing machines.

Three blends in 12-count boxes will hit shelves over the next few days: Le Café Colombian; Le Café Metropolitan; and Le Café Good Morning blends.

They are made from 100% Arabica coffee and will be sold in all of Metro’s conventional and discount bannered stores.

The coffee also comes with a built-in local marketing angle. Because the Irresistibles pods are produced at a plant in Montreal’s Saint-Michel neighourhood, they are allowed to carry the homegrown seal of Aliments préparés au Québec.

Single-serve pods have exploded in popularity in recent years. Green Mountain’s Keurig system and rival Tassimo have given coffee sales in supermarkets a much-needed jolt. Prior to their launch, many coffee drinkers were opting to get their caffeine fix at their local Tim Hortons or McDonald's.

Single-serve coffee pod sales have risen 66% in the last year, according to data supplied by Green Mountain.

"Over the last few years, the popularity of single-cup coffees has resulted in a greater diversity of in-store products, so much so that today consumers can find dozens of different brands and flavours on our shelves,” Serge Boulanger, senior vice-president of national procurement and corporate brands, said in a statement.

In addition to producing Irresistibles coffee pods, Vermont-based Green Mountain sells many of its own single-serve brands in Metro stores. They include Van Houtte, Timothy’s World Coffee, Barista Prima Coffeehouse, Tully’s and Café Escapes.

A few weeks ago Green Mountain announced plans to close its Toronto plant next March and consolidate production in Montreal. The move will cut 120 jobs in Toronto.

Officials at Green Mountain added that they have expanded their facility in Montreal by 40% this year.

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