Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) CEO Brian Kelley was interviewed by CNBC’s Sara Eisen earlier today. Green Mountain and The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) announced a deal almost two weeks ago and the company’s stock price is up almost 50% since the deal was announced. Kelley was a senior exec at Coca-Cola before taking over the helm at Green Mountain in December 2012.
Green Mountain: “Great deal for us and Coke”
Kelley was enthusiastic about the recent partnership with The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), and described it as a “Great deal for us and Coke.” He mentioned that the companies are making good progress in developing the requisite technology, “We’ve made actual machine, and are continuing to perfect the machines until the launch.” Kelley also confirmed that the cold system launch was planned for 2015, and emphasized the importance of developing an installed base for cold systems like the 18 million already-installed Keurex hot systems.
He also highlighted that consumers have been asking Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) for a cold system (“they wanted a Coke or a Diet Coke”) for some time and he anticipated a relatively fast uptake. The financial terms of the deal have not been announced.
“Detractors make us better.”
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) CEO Kelley refused to take the bait regarding company detractors such as David Einhorn. He took the high road and just said, “Detractors make us better. Having people looking at and challenging your model helps you get sharper.”
“A lot of respect for Sodastream”
Kelly also gave dominant cold beverage system player Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) full props. “We have a lot of respect for Sodastream. They’ve really paved the way in the marketplace. They’ve been around for a long time and have a terrific product, and so we see them as a strong competitor.”
Toward the end of the interview, GMCR CEO Kelley got in a plug for the-soon-to-be-released Keurex 2.0 hot beverage system. “We are rolling out the Keurex 2.0. The Keurex 2.0 offers consumers a completely new set of benefits. We now have a Keurex machine that can deliver a single cup or a pot of coffee. That was the single biggest request that consumers had of us.”