"We offer excellent coffee that is value-for-money and we plan to stick to this platform. We believe there is place for all in the fast-burgeoning coffee-bars market," said Naresh Malhotra, director, Café Coffee Day (CCD), at the launch of the fifth CCD outlet in Chennai yesterday. With this launch, the number of CCD outlets across the country stands at 35.
Action in the coffee-pub race is hotting up. While the two other major players in the market, Qwiky's and Barista, have charted an aggressive growth path, CCD had been chugging along at a slow and steady pace despite its pioneering foray in this segment as early as in 1996. "Our aim is not to be largest, but to be the best. That is why we have been careful about associating ourselves with other brands. We have chosen the ones that are in sync with our values and offer the same proposition," said Malhotra. Perhaps that explains why this chain, which is part of the Rs 250-crore Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company (ABCTC), has been careful in picking its associates - which now include Live-in Jeans brand stores in Pune and Music World in Chandigarh.
CCD has outlets at Delhi, Chandigarh, Pune, Bangalore, Mangalore, Hyderabad, Chikmagalur and Chennai. It plans to rapidly roll out another 70 outlets by the end of this year. However, the group has decided to steer clear of print-led promotions. The company brass believes such promos do not generate the kind of recall that is necessary in a category driven by impulse and convenience. CCD plans to push growth through television-led promotions once it acquires a critical mass in terms of spread. Until then, it plans to stick to cross-promotions and intensive store-oriented activities such as inviting live bands, DJs and throwing open the floor for impromptu dance parties.
Besides CCD pubs, ABCTC has three more business divisions that cover the vending machines business, the exclusive coffee retail points and exports. The company hopes to grow the vending business through the franchisee model. ABCTC also has 300 exclusive coffee retail outlets to sell Coffee Day filter coffee for in-home consumption as well as its premium range of coffee, the Dark Forest, which it claims is distinct as it is high-altitude, single plantation coffee bean, unlike other coffee bean brands that are usually mixed from different plantations. The company claims it has invested Rs 1 crore in a coffee lab that researches beans and flavours. The company has also started infiltrating the retail trade by placing its brand at the shelves of big shopping chains such as FoodWorld.
CCD outlets also serve snacks and the company is at the verge of signing on a major biscuit manufacturer to make an exclusive range of cookies for its outlets. In its bid to stand out in the rapidly growing coffee-bars business CCD went in for an image overhaul late last year when it redesigned its décor and logo to give a more contemporary and youthful feel to its brand. Â© 2002 agencyfaqs!First Published : March 26, 2002