International food and ingredients supplier Nestle FoodServices is targeting the UK coffee and hot beverages catering market by launching what it dubs a "business within a business" - the Nescaf Coffee Company.
According to Nestle, the new venture will provide a "total coffee solution" for operators by supplying ingredients, equipment, training and a full service back-up. "We are providing a complete package for operators who want to serve good quality coffee and other hot beverages," says Quentin Knowlson, Nestl's commercial director.
The Nescaf Coffee Company is aimed specifically at independent and chain restaurants and pubs, although hotels and contract caterers are also part of the target market.
The proposition includes a new range of coffee and other hot beverages, such as tea and hot chocolate, and options on equipment manufactured to Nestl specifications by Bristol-based Coffetek and equipment supplier Mulmar in Elstree, Hertfordshire.
Knowlson says that the scope of machines varies from a fully automatic system using soluble ingredients, to a traditional espresso machine using roast-and-ground coffee and fresh milk. "We are offering something for everyone," he says. "Our equipment ranges from small counter-top systems to high-volume, bulk-brew banqueting machines, catering for all price points and market sectors."
He adds that the new company is also "committed to an extensive service programme, which includes training, regular maintenance and point-of-sale merchandise, ensuring that clients can maximize their hot beverage revenue".
The new ingredients on offer as part of the new company package include Roma, a range of soluble roast and ground coffees for use with fresh milk; Milano, powdered forms of coffee, whitener and hot chocolate; and Aero Hot Chocolate.
Nestl has been developing the idea of the Nescaf Coffee Company for at least two years and in March 2004 it published a report into the coffee market that established the growth of coffee consumption worldwide (see table).
Knowlson says: "Making and drinking coffee has become an art form." He adds, however, that there is a lot of confusion in the market about sourcing supplies and the methods of producing a good cup of coffee.
"What we hope to achieve with our new company is a simple solution for all operators. We recognize that we have to specialize in this sector and concentrate on giving our customers what they need, when they need it."
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