The Nestea iced tea joint venture that was set up 16 years ago by Nestlé and Coca-Cola has been wound up so that the two companies can pursue their own separate strategies.
The joint venture, Beverage Partners Worldwide, was created to sell Nestea worldwide but the brand faced strong competition from a similar global venture between Unilever and PepsiCo that sells Lipton iced tea.
As consumers increasingly move from sugar-sweetened drinks, Nestlé said that it is relaunching Nestea, changing its formula and packaging. The new fruit-flavoured Nestea drinks are made with sugar and stevia and have no corn syrup, artificial colors and flavours, nor GMO ingredients.
“The ready-to-drink tea market has evolved, and Nestle believes the time is right to develop Nestea independently,” the company said, announcing the end of the venture that had already been scaled back to just Europe and Canada in 2012.
Nestlé said that Coke would retain a license to make and sell Nestea in Canada, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.
The Nestlé Waters division, which manages the brand in several countries including the US, will also manage Nestea in European countries not affected by the licensing agreements with Coke, it said.