I took a day trip down to West Chester, PA to tour Mars Drinks’ North American headquarters and packing plant, home of Flavia. What an impressive operation!
Unfortunately, photography of the production line is prohibited. It is a sight to behold, with high tech equipment and talented staff working in tandem across multiple levels to produce the sealed-fresh coffee, tea, and indulgence filter packs that we all love.
The coffee is ground on site, with each lot time-stamped and put through a tightly-controlled de-gassing phase. The coffee is then fed into one of many high-tech packing machines, which assemble and seal each pack and filter, nitrogen-flushing immediately before and after each pack is loaded to prevent exposure to oxygen, the enemy of coffee freshness. The packets are automatically assembled onto rails. Every step of the way, technicians are monitoring the process, and rails are routinely pulled off of the line and subjected to a battery of tests to ensure product and seal integrity specifications are being met.
A similar process takes place for teas, cocoa, and cappuccino packs, minus the roasting but with the same commitment to quality control.
The plant operates 24 hours per day, in three shifts. When CDC places an order, an entire shift worth of equipment time and manpower is devoted to packing our product!
As per Mars tradition, the facility is spotlessly clean, even when operating at peak capacity. Remarkably little waste is generated. Most of the waste is recycled (cardboard, plastic) or up-cycled by local farmers (coffee chaff). Any remaining waste, such as packets collected during testing, are converted to green energy at a local waste-to-energy plant. I was pleased to learn that Mars Drinks is operating a zero-landfill facility!
Also on the agenda during my visit — stay tuned over the coming months for our launch of a cutting-edge mobile media platform, which we are developing in conjunction with our friends at Mars Drinks, that both our new and long-time customers should benefit from. Get your smart phones ready — more details soon!