Jumping Bean to offer single cuppas at home

Coffeemaker pods being produced on mainland

Ashley Fitzpatrick afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com
Published on July 15, 2014
Newfoundland-based Jumping Bean, which has expanded its operations across the island, hopes to broaden its reach with the release of single-serve coffee pods.
— Submitted photo

Coffee drinkers whose preference is for home brewing in single cups will soon be able to buy from a Newfoundland and Labrador-based roaster and retail brand.
Jumping Bean coffees are being introduced in new units for single-cup machines, according to company founder and president Jeff LeDrew. The product is coming under a deal penned with Club Coffee out of Ontario.

Sitting in a new Jumping Bean shop in TD Place in downtown St. John’s Monday, LeDrew said the single-cup units will be recyclable products.

“It’s done. The artwork’s done. The packages are done,” he said. “I was hoping to have it on the shelves for Christmas — but it could technically, possibly be on the shelves and national brochures in Canada and the U.S. But I’m not 100 per cent sure.”

The new units are coming under a brand licensing deal and will be manufactured at a Club Coffee plant in Ontario.

“If I could do it myself, I would have done it,” he said, when asked about in-province manufacturing.

In past interviews, LeDrew has been an advocate for growth in the province’s manufacturing sector, and he said he maintains that position. He has secured land and is continuing to negotiate financing for a potential new manufacturing facility in the province. The plant would allow for expansion of the company’s roster of existing products, with new additions.

“We really need the plant,” he said. “We’ve just got to get a more industrial environment and allow us to scale a little bit bigger.”

Yet single cups and pods to fit with available home coffeemakers would have required additional capital investment for equipment and, given the materials also required for packaging, he said the product would have been difficult to produce in Newfoundland and Labrador at a reasonable price.

Enter Club Coffee, with its $5 million investment in April from the Ontario government for expansion of an existing plant in that province, specifically for customized production of lines of single-service coffee cups.

“Canadian single-serve hot beverage product sales, including coffee and tea, grew almost 70 per cent between 2012 and 2013, with sales close to $730 million,” noted the Government of Ontario in a news release at the time.

Ontario exports more than $390 million worth of tea and coffee each year. For comparison, fish processing plays a significant role in Newfoundland and Labrador’s manufacturing sector and the value of seafood product exports from the province totalled $780 million in the first eleven months of 2013.

As for what single-cup units can do for Newfoundland and Labrador’s growing manufacturer Jumping Bean? “From a business perspective, obviously it gets us more reach,” LeDrew said.

He also said other new products are under consideration by the company.