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Turning Up the Heat

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Sweden-based Crem International, the leading producer of coffee machines with an impressive market presence across the globe is now eyeing the Indian market aggressively. David Mattgard, Sales Manager, Asia Pacific, Crem International, talks about the coffee equipment scenario in India and their plans for the Indian market with Varun Jain,

Brief us about Crem International.

Crem International is developing, producing and marketing high-quality beverage solutions to customers all over the world. Our main focus is on coffee machines and with our two brands – Coffee Queen and Expobar – we provide a very wide range of products. Under Coffee Queen, we offer super automatic and filter coffee solutions, filter coffee brewers as well as instant coffee machines. With Expobar, we cover the whole traditional semi-automatic machine range and the ever growing segment for capsules.

What is your set up like in India?

We always work through local distributors and the Indian market is no exception. For quite a number of years, we have been working with our dealer network in India.

How important is the Indian market for Crem International compared to other global markets? How has the response in India been so far?

The Indian market is definitely of growing importance for our activities in Asia. In terms of coffee machines, India still has some way to go before it becomes a major market in this industry, but we can see substantial growth every year and the future potential shall not be underestimated. The response to our products is all positive, both from dealers and end-users, and we are of course very happy about that.

Who are your target consumers?

Typically, we divide our target customers into three segments. HoReCa (hotel, restaurant and catering), office coffee services and convenience stores. We do not really target all the three segments in India at present. Through roasting houses, operators and distributors, it is mostly in the HoReCa segment where our products end up. Step by step and together with increased market demand, we will definitely look into the other two segments in a structured way to be able to offer the right products in the right place.

Which Indian cities are you present in?

Through our dealer network, we cover the whole country, but the strongholds are in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.

What are your future expansion plans for Crem International in India?

Our job is to do our best to present a strong yearly growth in India and then provide correct market information to the board of Crem International. In this way, they will be able to make the correct strategic decisions for the future.

What kind of market do you see for the imported coffee equipment in India?

Ever growing. In fact, I do not think the market has started to really take off yet – the best has yet to come for the coffee industry in India.

What are the challenges you face in the Indian market?

India is a large country geographically, which makes it a challenge to be everywhere and provide good service. Local preferences regarding how to make coffee and what coffee should taste like can also vary, which means that we have to listen to the market and try to adapt as much as we can.

Please share with us your marketing strategies and how you are creating awareness about your brand.

We attend the major branch exhibitions on our main markets and support our dealer network in their efforts to penetrate each local market.

What is your take on the competition here in the organised space?

Competition is a natural thing and we really do not worry about anything. We know what we are good at, what we can deliver and how to create value for our customers. Compared to many other markets, the number of real competitors present in the Indian market is still limited, but I believe that will change in the near future.

Where do you see Crem International five years down the line?

For India, we aim to be the market’s number one choice of professional coffee machine supplier – with both Expobar and Coffee Queen.