Ashwini Gangal

Barista Lavazza scouts for creative partner; pitch underway in Chennai

In India, the Lavazza Group has two key brands under its umbrella -- the Barista Coffee Company and Fresh & Honest Café.

It has been ascertained that Italian coffee major Barista Lavazza is looking for a creative partner in India. The pitch is currently underway in Chennai.

Barista Lavazza's brand integration manager, Tanmoy Mukherjee refused to comment on the issue. However, highly placed sources in the advertising industry have confirmed the pitch news to afaqs!

Barista Lavazza scouts for creative partner; pitch underway in Chennai
Alok Nanda & Company (ANC) has worked on communication for this account in the past.

It is also learnt that the Lavazza authorities are currently in conversation with around four-to-five creative agencies in Chennai. So far, one round of conversation has been completed. Apparently, only a few select agencies have been hand-picked for this pitch; the main Lavazza team in Italy has selected these agencies. Even as far as the final result of the pitch is concerned, word has it that that the team in Italy will have the final word.

It may be noted that the Lavazza Group has two famous coffee brands under its umbrella in India, namely, Barista Coffee Company and Fresh & Honest Cafe (FHCL). In 2007, Lavazza entered the Indian market by acquiring Barista and FHCL. As part of the acquisition, an agreement between Lavazza and Sterling Infotech Group was signed in Mumbai.

Barista is a popular coffee chain frequented by Indians of all age groups, particularly youngsters. The brand has often been in the news on many occasions in the recent past, for its innovative on-ground campaigns.

Back in November 2009, it gained popularity as the very first Indian coffee outlet to serve a blend of coffee with alcohol (a dash of wine, rum, beer, whisky or vodka) to its patrons. This product offering fell within the price range of Rs 199-299, excluding taxes, and went by the name 'Cheers to Coffee'.

Last year, in May, Barista had introduced an eight-city tournament in the country with the objective of honing the spelling skills of people, through the popular board game Scrabble. For this, the brand had tied up with Mattel Toys to launch the first edition of Barista Lavazza Café Scrabble 2010. Through the event, the company connected with its customers across the eight target cities over a span of four weeks.

In July last year, Barista had tied up with digital destination media provider, LiveMedia, in order to enhance guest engagement and provide an additional medium of entertainment at coffee outlets across India. As part of the execution of this initiative, LiveMedia screens were installed in 200 outlets of the coffee retail chain.

Around September last year, Barista rolled out an engagement programme, called 'Master of the Menu' for its consumers. This was basically a beverage recipe contest aimed at creating uniquely-flavoured concoctions. Consumers shared all the recipes and the winning recipe was awarded the title of 'Master of the Menu'. It was also featured in the menu cards of some of Barista's outlets at the time.

On the other hand, FHCL is famous for its vending machines and presently boasts over 3,500 machine installations in India. These installations are found across several settings, including corporate offices, hospitality-based settings, public places (such as railway platforms), and households. These machines, which offer fresh coffee to customers, are present across 22 cities in the country.

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