Marley Coffee (corporate name: Jammin Java Corp.), the coffee company owned by singer Bob Marley’s son Rohan Marley, reported that their fiscal first quarter sales have increased by 153 percent compared with last year’s first quarter. The company, which is based in the United States, focuses on selling sustainably grown, ethically farmed, and artisan roasted coffee from Ethiopia, Central and South America, and Jamaica in the much sought after Blue Mountain region.
Brent Toevs, Chief Executive Officer for Marley Coffee, commented on the fiscal quarter ending on April 30, 2014, saying that “Our focus during the quarter was on continuing to implement effective marketing campaigns to increase our velocity of turning products off the shelf, expanding distribution to key retailers and increasing the talent at Marley Coffee as we complete our team.” We’ve found that online reselling was a big part of our strategy.
A portion of Marley Coffee’s marketing campaigns has relied on partnerships with other coffee companies and retailers. Mother Parkers Coffee & Tea, founded in 1912, was one such partnership; Safeway is the brand’s largest distributor as of this year. Marley Coffee noted a lift in sales during each promotion period, according to their financial report, and an increase even after products would go off promotion.
Marketing for companies such as Marley Coffee often relies on promotions, partnerships, and advertising. In 2011, business spent an estimated $47.8 billion on digital printing services, just one of many popular advertising techniques.
For Marley Coffee, marketing expenses for this year’s first quarter were $823,000, compared with $168,000 last year. The increase in expenses, Toevs says, was due to increased in-store demos and advertising to drive awareness and trial.
Marley Coffee’s first quarter sales revenue went from $846,000 last year to $2.1 million this year. The cost of sales this year were $1.7 million, compared with $318,000 in the year-ago quarter.
Gross profits fell this year as the result of Marley Coffee’s expansion into new markets. The gross profit for the first quarter of 2014 was $453,000 with a margin of 21 percent compared to last year’s first quarter: a gross profit of $499,000 with a margin of 59 percent.