L'Or and Carte Noire

L’Or instant has raked in what Carte Noire has lost

Ahead of its enforced disposal next spring, Jacobs Douwe Egberts has successfully replaced sales from its Carte Noire instant coffee brand with its new L’Or brand replacement, which launched in January.

An EC competition ruling demanded that, following the £3.5bn merger between Douwe Egberts and the coffee division of Mondelez in 2015, the new JDE entity must sell the Carte Noire brand.

It was acquired by Lavazza in March 2016, but the EC ruling allowed JDE to license the Carte Noire instant trademark for two years. This was “for rebranding purposes” a JDE spokeswoman told The Grocer.

But JDE chose to retire the Carte Noire instant brand from shelves and introduced its L’Or brand to the UK instead. L’Or instant racked up £12.6m in value sales in its first six months, exclusive data for The Grocer shows, while Carte Noire lost £12.4m in the past year – more than a third of its value [IRI 52 w/e 15 July 2017].

Carte Noire is now worth £36.7m but, given JDE no longer makes it, the instant’s value will be considerably less by the time Lavazza takes over the production licence.

The JDE spokeswoman insisted L’Or had “a different taste profile and positioning to Carte Noire and is not a direct replacement”.

Lavazza is scheduled to take control of Carte Noire instant “from March 2018, delivering the highest quality and French elegance”, said Lavazza UK MD David Rogers.