Walmart Edges Into Whole Foods Territory With Premium Coffee Brand

(Bloomberg) -- Walmart Inc. is ramping up a battle with Amazon.com Inc. and its grocery arm Whole Foods as it starts to sell a new line of organic coffee made by a roaster in Colorado.

Mash-Up Coffee, produced by Boyer’s Coffee, will be offered exclusively at more than 1,200 Walmart stores or on the Mash-Up website. The coffee sells for about $7 a bag -- roughly the same price as Starbucks sold at Walmart, which is typically at the high-end of coffee at the retailer.

Walmart contacted Denver-based Boyer’s Coffee last year seeking to learn more about the so-called “third wave” of coffee.

“They looked to us to educate them,” said Jason Barrow, one of two brothers who runs Luna Gourmet, Boyer’s parent company. “We knew it had to be competitive with Starbucks to work for them.”

The third-wave term refers to the premiumization of coffee, a major beverage trend in recent years as many U.S. consumers, who moved first from Folgers and Maxwell House to Starbucks, are seeking even more upscale ways to their caffeine fix.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.