Hot take

A wealth of new innovations and products are available in the hot beverage market, making consumers’ choices even broader at any time of the day or night, in the home or on the move, writes Doug Whelan


Brand Central

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28 September 2016

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  • More than one in ten households own a coffee pod machine*
  • 4,558 tonnes of coffee was consumed in Ireland last year
  • 56% of people drink tea at home, while 43% purchase it out of the home**

*(Source: Kantar Worldpanel 52wks ending 16 August 2015. Pod penetration 13.4%)

**(Source: GFK Data, 52 wks ending July 2015)

While Ireland may always be stuck with its image of being a nation of tea drinkers, coffee is bigger business than ever, and the recent rise of a number of new brands proves this. Sales of coffee in and out of the home are on the increase – roast and ground varieties have grown by 2.5% in the past 12 months, while sales of coffee pods such as Nespresso, Tassimo and Dolce Gusto have seen an impressive increase of 29.5%.

With this in mind, this month’s category focus takes a closer look at the latest coffee varieties on the market and newer innovations among brands that are already household names. First up, a self-service machine that offers top-quality coffee every time.

Innovative technology, traditional quality

By using freshly ground Mocha Italia beans in its self-service coffee machines – the same beans used in its stores, in fact – Costa Coffee ensures that customers always receive the best quality coffee on the go. The brand’s coffee bars – now a familiar site in forecourts and convenience stores up and down the country – provide the same high standard of coffee for every customer, every time, making Costa express the quickest and easiest way to boost your business’ hot beverage offering.

Costa offers quality takeaway coffee with all the convenience of a self-service machine

Costa offers quality takeaway coffee with all the convenience of a self-service machine

Costa’s self-service machines are innovative, intelligent and easy to use

Costa’s self-service machines are innovative, intelligent and easy to use

With as little as 1m² of floor space required, Costa’s self-service coffee machines are convenient for retailers too, offering a strong return. The machines have the ability to communicate with the company directly, and also to train staff using on-screen instructions. Costa provides all consumables and coffee, while income is shared at an agreed rate and the company is always on hand if a retailer needs assistance; all the store needs to do is keep the machine topped up with fresh milk, and it’s ready to go!

For more information contact Costa Coffee on 021 500 3525 (ROI) or 02892 688349 (NI).

Q&A with Stephen Kelly, director, MBCC Costa Express Ireland Ltd.

What do you believe to be at the core of the Costa Express brand?

There are two key ingredients at the core of Costa Express. Firstly, we use the same Mocha Italia beans you’ll find in Costa stores, and fresh milk in every cup. Our self-serve coffee bars are designed to be simple to use and to maintain, meaning they provide the same high standard of drink for every customer, time and time again. Second, new product innovation is at the heart of Costa Express. In short, it’s a great way for our customers to grab a quality coffee on-the-go.

Ready-to-drink coffee is gaining popularity due to fast and busy lifestyles; who do you see as your key target market?

Costa Express machines are ideally suited to garage forecourts and convenience stores. While consumers’ fast and busy lifestyles are helping to grow this market channel, our coffee quality and the strength of the Costa Brand help to drive year-on-year double digit growth for our partners. Costa customers are very discerning; three out of four of our customers will extend their journey to purchase a coffee from a Costa Express machine.

How has the Costa Express brand innovated?

Our telemetry system is at the cutting edge of the industry. Our self-service coffee bars report problems via 3G telemetry for hassle-free diagnosis and resolution, which naturally minimizes downtime. New developments in the technology also allow for staff on-site to watch training videos via the touch screen.

What advice would you offer retailers to help drive sales in your category?

Developing the hot beverage category is not simply about upgrading your coffee offering. Consumers want proven brands that they trust, while retailers need to develop a complete offering at the same time with pastries/cakes and some key hot food lines that the customer will take up alongside their coffee. Loyalty cards and product pairing are proven ways to help drive sales.

What marketing initiatives have you planned over the coming months?

In the near future we have some exhibitions planned, as well as some billboard advertising to heighten brand awareness.

Quality indeed

Johnson Brothers (Belfast) Ltd. was first established in 1893, before first selling coffee in Ireland in 1910. By the time another three years had passed, the family had begun roasting coffee in Belfast for extensive supply into the food service and grocery industry sectors.

Johnsons Coffee offers a range of varieties, flavours and options to cater for any taste or occasion

Johnsons Coffee offers a range of varieties, flavours and options to cater for any taste or occasion

PrintThe basic principle was founded on quality, while in 1916 Robert Johnson said “it is our responsibility as a roaster to father the coffee to the cup”. This driving passion remains core to the Johnsons’ business more than a century later, as the fourth generation of the family roasts 100% high grown Arabic coffees from around the world, in a modern roaster eight miles from Belfast. Meanwhile, Johnsons Coffee is a licensed Fairtrade supplier.

Johnsons’ Coffees come in two pack sizes under the Johnsons Coffee brand (four blends), and Bellagio brands for retail grocery, plus a host of pre-ground and whole bean pack sizes for the food service sector where single-origin estates coffees are now sold.

Private label roasting is also available, including full branded packaging (volume dependent).

Product range:

  • Filter coffee and espresso coffee, including Kenya Blend
  • Continental Blend
  • American Blend; Costa Rica – Fair Trade; Java Blend; Breakfast Blend
  • Decaffeinated Blend
  • Bellagio Espresso
  • Bellagio Espresso Fairtrade

For more information on Johnsons Coffee, contact Philip Mills, 137 Hillsborough Old Road, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, BT27 5QR, Northern Ireland, email or call +44 (0) 28 9267 9121.

Kimbo offers a genuine Italian coffee experience at home…and Irish consumers should expect nothing less

Kimbo offers a genuine Italian coffee experience at home…and Irish consumers should expect nothing less

The art of coffee

Kimbo, Italy’s second largest coffee roaster, was founded in Naples and resides there to this day. Coffee in this part of the world is not just a beverage, but an art form, and Kimbo espresso has become synonymous with the city.

The attitude of the Irish public toward coffee drinking is in a state of change. Gone are the days when a lukewarm cup of instant coffee was deemed to be sufficient. Irish consumers are becoming more savvy, discerning and adventurous, and above all more interested in coffee. In short, our expectations for perfection in every cup are higher than ever; one might say we are becoming more Italian…

As a result of this shift, it is imperative that retailers stock coffee of the highest quality. Giving the customer a choice of how they wish to prepare their coffee is also vital. Kimbo stocks a range of pre-ground, whole beans, pods and capsules, and has also recently launched a Nespresso-compatible line. With a selection of blends to choose from, the customer can experiment and hone their taste. And when they get that powerful aroma, they will be transported from their home to the hustle and bustle of a Neapolitan café.

By choosing to supply Kimbo products, a retailer is sending a clear message to their customers that they have an affiliation with an authentic Italian product that never compromises on quality.

Innovation from Nescafé Azera leads 'super premium growth'

Innovation from Nescafé Azera leads ‘super premium growth’

Barista blend

There is no question that coffee culture in Ireland has exploded in recent years, and there is no reason consumers can’t be their own barista at home too, especially with Nescafé Azera Coffee to Go Americano: a tasteful blend of expertly roasted, finely ground coffee beans ready in an instant.

Consumers can enjoy this tasteful barista style blend, confident that Nescafé has selected the finest, highest-quality coffee beans to go into it. A dedicated team of roasters expertly roasts the beans and then finely grounds them, before carefully blending with instant coffee. One then simply adds water to be their own Barista.

Azera Coffee to Go Americano delivers a distinct freshness, and is available to go.

Seattle’s Best aims to expand across the retail landscape using its myriad knowledge and experience

Seattle’s Best aims to expand across the retail landscape using its myriad knowledge and experience

Knowledge and experience

Combining the expertise of Starbuck’s Corporation and Aryzta Food Solutions, Seattle’s Best Coffee is a winning solution with a knowledge and experience consumers can believe in. For more than 40 years, Seattle’s Best has roasted, blended and loved great coffee, resulting in a perfect, medium roast with a signature smooth taste. The sweet aromas and nutty flavour combinations of Seattle Best’s famous Henry’s Blend, grown in Latin America and made with only 100% Arabica and Fairtrade beans, prove to be a taste profile winner among consumers.

After launching in 2015 to its retail partners, Seattle’s Best has now expanded into 150 stores nationwide. Seattle’s Best wants to bring consumers more than just a cup of coffee; it wants to bring moments of enjoyment and possibility. As its next step, the company now looks forward to expanding within the retail landscape to bring Seattle’s Best Coffee to more customers.




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