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Sark's - Nestle's gourmet whole bean coffee.

Founded in 1975 by Wally Sarkisian, Sark's Gourmet Coffee[R] was one of the first gourmet whole bean coffees available to consumers in the grocery store. Sarkisian, a gourmet food broker in Los Angeles, predicted the popularity of whole bean coffee and set out to make it readily available in a wide variety of roasts and flavors. He designed and implemented the first gourmet whole bean coffee program for Southern California's major grocery chains.

But the visionary Sarkisian died in 1980 leaving his widow, Rose, and daughter, Debra, to keep the company alive. With their hard work, the company flourished. Southern California grew to become the second largest gourmet coffee market in the U.S-- and Sark's remained the number one brand in that area, available in over 500 supermarkets by 1986.

To capitalize on the booming whole bean market, Sark's merged with Nestle Beverage Co in 1987. Affiliation with a larger coffee company gave Sark's the financial backing and marketing support it needed to expand.

With its new marketing muscle, Sark's completed its first geographic expansion into the Cleveland market in 1989 and into Northern California and Arizona in 1990. As a result, Sark's distribution has blossomed from coast to coast.

Name Change

Sark's Supreme(TM) coffee has officially changed its name to Sark's Gourmet Coffee(R) and has updated its packaging to match.

"Consumers are now more familiar with the concept of gourmet coffee," said Andrea Cook, assistant public relations manager. "The new name helps them better understand the Sark's brand."

Sark's is a line of gourmet whole bean coffees sold in pre-packaged 12-oz. bags or by the pound in self-serve bags. Slick new red packaging on the pre-packaged 12-oz. bags includes the addition of a new Sark's Gourmet logo and information about Sark's 40+ flavors.

Changes to the self-serve bag include the new logo on the front and Sark's coffee history, brewing instructions and dedication to freshness on the reverse. For added convenience, the new self-serve bag will also feature a blank space for customers to note which flavors they blend, and graduations along the side so consumers can measure how much coffee they are purchasing.

Also available are new 2-oz. trial size pre-packaged Sark's brick packs which, according to Cook, are popular among consumers and often motivate them to try new flavors. Trial size racks can be added to the existing Sark's instore displays or set up in their own glossy shipper.

Sark's Gourmet Coffee[R] is one of the fastest growing lines of whole bean gourmet coffees in America, says Nestle. Now available in many major grocery chains coast to coast, Sark's Gourmet features over 40 different coffee varieties including blends, dark roasts, flavors and decars--all made with 100% premium quality Arabica beans.

Immensely popular on the West Coast, Sark's has expanded into 13 markets including Cleveland, Arizona and Dallas. In Florida, the product grabbed the lead when a sales agreement with Albertson's made Sark's available in over 67 supermarkets across the state.

Sold by the pound or in prepackaged 12-ounce vacuum sealed bags, Sark's can be found on specially-designed white and polished-brass displays near the coffee aisle. In addition, a new two-ounce trial size brick pack is now available enabling consumers to sample eight of the most popular roasts, blends and flavors.

Direct Store Delivery Program

Nationwide sales and service facilities back Sark's direct-store-delivery program. When a new account is established, a trained Sark's representative works with the retailer to customize display racks and select a product mix to best meet the consumer profile in that area.

To ensure high quality standards, only Sark's representatives supervise the beans, from green coffee purchasing through direct store delivery to consumer purchase. While the beans are still warm from roasting, Sark's vacuum packs them right away to ensure freshness everyday. Sark's direct-store-delivery program enables each representative to deliver product to the store directly from the Sark's truck.

"Sark's is the ideal addition to any retailer's product line," said Cook. "It is tremendously profitable yet requires no labor expenditures for maintenance."
COPYRIGHT 1992 Lockwood Trade Journal Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sark's Gourmet Coffee
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Dec 1, 1992
Words:673
Previous Article:A look into Nestle Beverage Company.
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