Claims share in the Greek market with the Italian Caffe Vergnano
Coca-Cola 3E will claim a position among the major espresso coffee “players”, especially in the HORECA channel (hotels and catering), in the next period, already making use of the wide network of partners it has in this channel, due to soft drinks and of alcoholics and taking advantage of the ever-increasing consumption of espresso in Greece – and not only – inside and outside the home, which is linked both to new consumer trends and to increased tourist traffic.
Yesterday was the official launch of Caffe Vergnano, a premium espresso coffee, in the presence of Carolina Vergnano, managing director of the Italian company Caffe Vergnano, a 141-year-old company. It is recalled that in June 2021 Coca-Cola HBC acquired 30% of the Italian company and at the same time took over the exclusive distribution of the coffee in question in all the countries in which it operates, except Italy, i.e. in a total of 28 countries. “Our goal is to soon make Caffe Vergnano one of the most recognizable Italian coffee brands in Greece,” underlined yesterday Maria Anargyrou-Nikolic, general manager of Coca-Cola Tria Epsilon for Greece and Cyprus.
The coffee in question will be available for the time being only through the restaurant channel, a channel with much higher profit margins than that of the retail trade. Already in the second half of 2022, its installation has begun in 100 stores, while the expansion plan, as mentioned by Athina Popov, head of the coffee, alcoholic beverages and snacks sector of Coca-Cola 3E during a related press conference, foresees the placement in 300 points of sale within 2023, with the goal of 1,000 stores in a five-year horizon. Among these stores, some will be developed with the aesthetics of the stores that Caffe Vergnano has (Caffe Vergnano 1882 project) and which in total worldwide amount to 178. These stores will not be developed by Coca-Cola 3E, but from partners – customers of the company, since, as Prodromos Nikolaidis, head of the coffee activity for the whole Coca-Cola HBC group, pointed out, “there is no store chain development strategy in the group”.
In the next phase, Coca-Cola 3E will consider entering the retail trade as well, since Caffe Vergnano produces products for home consumption, both ground coffee and capsules. Besides, Coca-Cola 3E has a presence in the retail channel through the distribution of Costa Coffee, a brand owned by The Coca-Cola Company, in contrast to the Caffe Vergnano brand, which is 30% owned by Coca-Cola 3E and the remaining 70% to the Vergnano family. It is noted that Costa Coffee's share in the supermarket channel has a 5.5% share in capsules and 8% in ground, with the company aiming to reach a total share of 10%. In addition, Costa Coffee is present in 500 points of sale in the HORECA channel.
In total the Coca-Cola HBC group has placed one of the two coffee brands or both in 18 countries, while Caffe Vergnano in particular it has been placed in 14 countries. It should be noted that the launch of Costa Coffee coincided with the outbreak of the pandemic, which led to a partial revision of the strategy for positioning in the retail and HORECA channels.
The group, however, does not intend to be active in another coffee category, e.g. instant or filter, as the espresso category is one that is in constant development.