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Magazines Archives - 2011 May

Coffee Bean launches single-serve beverage system, set to expand in Asia
Story 12 - Food Business Asia

Existing machines in the market either make espresso or coffee and tea, but the CBTL makes all three beverages in one system.

THE Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, a USbased beverage group from Los Angeles, has set foot into the single-serve beverage market, with the debut of its beverage system dubbed “the CBTL”.

Launched in Singapore in March, the second market after its US debut last December, the CBTL will be making its way across stores in Asia, offering consumers their favourite coffee and tea beverages from the comfort of their own home.

Speaking at the Singapore launch, Mel Elias, president and CEO of the company, said that the system is the company’s “biggest innovation” to date.

“When we set out to enter this business, we wanted to bring consumers a significant improvement to what is already on the market. And we believe that’s what we have done,” he affirmed.

Although the company has launched two systems, the Contata and the Kaldi, both designed by Italian company Caffitaly System, only the Kaldi CBTL system will be available in Asia.

Featuring an easy capsule insertion and ejection system, with a capsule drawer that can hold up to 10 used capsules, the Kaldi is available in three colours — Red, Blue/Silver and White/Silver — at select The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores in Singapore, as well as department stores such as Robinsons and Metro.

Priced at S$389 (US$315), the Kaldi currently serves a range of 12 espresso, coffee and tea varieties that retail for S$9.10 per box of 10 capsules.
Claire Sassoon, the company’s business development manager, pointed out that existing machines in the market either make espresso or coffee and tea, but not all three beverages in one system.

She added: “We are looking to design chocolate and vanilla capsules that will allow for a hot chocolate or even a cafe vanilla, or a vanilla latte. So [the CBTL] is really expanding the realm of realities with one button for one perfect cup ... in the privacy of the customer’s own home.”

The company also disclosed plans to expand across Asia within the year. Elias told Retail Asia: “We’re going to take it to 52 stores by year-end in Singapore. In South Korea, which is our second-largest market with about 200 stores, we are planning to open 18 stores this year.

“In the Philippines, we’re looking at nine new outlets, and we’ve benchmarked 12 stores in India and about 30 stores in China as well.”

He added that the company also intends to focus on larger markets such as China and India, citing an emerging demand among consumers for lifestyle brands and concepts in the two countries.

“The population base and the growing middle-class in these two markets are certainly indications that this would be a very good growth opportunity for us,” Elias explains.

Aside from expanding across the region, the group is also exploring other avenues to boost its growth.

“The Coffee Bean is always innovating at every single level, and one of the concepts that we decided to try was an integrated bistro or café-type environment called the ‘Beanstro’,” he said, adding that the company’s first Beanstro at the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort was doing “extremely well” and plans are under way to open another store in one of its other Asian markets.

With the launch of the CBTL, Elias added that the company will be introducing a “store in store” concept at its new cafés, to house a dedicated section to retail the CBTL systems and its accessories.

“We’d also like to significantly remodel our existing stores, and introduce concept designs that we’ve developed in the US with a number of modifications,” the Coffee Bean chief concluded. ra

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Coffee Bean launches single-serve beverage system, set to expand in Asia

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