Mars Joins Coffee Machine Fray With Flavia Barista

Mars Drinks, a business unit of Mars Inc., on April 10 unveiled a coffee brewer with espresso capability for the office, meant to "encourage collaboration and ideation in the workplace." But it's only for the office; at the moment, no Keurig-like home machines are envisioned.

The "design-driven" Flavia Barista will be available this fall in North America. Its coffee will be supplied by Italian coffee brand Segafredo Zanetti and Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group.

"The brewer features the required high pressure of up to 15-BARs to offer real, full-bodied, Italian espressos with thick, rich 'crema' in 30-40 seconds," the announcement read. "It also offers cappuccinos, lattes, teas, coffees and hot chocolates."

"The right beverage experience is a catalyst for the kinds of moments that transform workplace culture," said Xavier Unkovic, global president of Mars Drinks. The announcement said, "The visually stunning brewer was styled for the modern office as an inspiring centerpiece inviting senior managers and interns alike to communicate, collaborate and share opinions, suggestions and ideas while enjoying a premium coffeehouse-style beverage."

Mars Drinks (www.marsdrinks.com) has been around a while. In 1973, the unit introduced Klix, what it claims was the first fully automatic in-cup drinks vending machine that serves large manufacturing channels across Europe. In 1984, Mars Drinks "pioneered the single serve hot drinks category," introducing the first Flavia system for making hot drinks using fresh ground coffee and leaf teas sealed in individual servings. Mars and Mars Drinks also owns brands Alterra Coffee Roasters, The Bright Tea Co. and Dove/Galaxy hot chocolates.

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