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Nespresso building premium coffee empire in NZ

Leading coffee brand, Nespresso is banking on Kiwis’ love of cafe culture as it opens its new flagship boutique in Auckland on Wednesday.

Located on the corner of Queen and Custom Streets, the new retail store is the latest addition to the company’s growing empire, which includes a boutique in Newmarket and pop-up store in Albany, on Auckland’s North Shore.

Nespresso launched in New Zealand in 2011 with country manager Guillaume Chesneau and just one other staff member.

But by the end of this year, there will be more than 100 New Zealand staff, with the new 93 square metre store adding 20 more people to the team.

Chesneau says the already-strong coffee market is growing and there is no reason why Nespresso should not follow suit.

“Consumption is shifting from mass to high-end coffee. There’s a premiumisation going on that’s not unique to New Zealand, but New Zealand is very, very specific and strong on this,” he says.

According to online statistics portal Statista, New Zealand’s per capita consumption of coffee ranked among the top 20 in the world, at 0.94 cups a day.

The Netherlands had the highest coffee consumption at 2.4 cups a day.

Nielsen data from this year showed 2.3 million Kiwis drank coffee at least once a week and coffee sales in supermarkets grew by $9.9 million in the last year.

Retail sales showed coffee capsules were partly accountable for that growth.

Nespresso is known for its various types of portion coffee – capsules that contain a cup’s worth of ground coffee, tightly sealed to maintain the fresh coffee aroma.

The move away from mass-produced instant coffee gives Nespresso enormous opportunities to expand beyond its retail operations, Chesneau says.

A few months ago the company launched new delivery services where coffee could be ordered from a smartphone app and delivered straight to the consumer.

It also introduced its “out of home” strategy two years ago, which brought Nespresso coffee to offices and hospitality businesses.

In August the company announced it had teamed up with acclaimed chef Josh Emett to develop the Nespresso range in the fine dining industry.

“We enjoy some good dynamic and that’s credit to the New Zealand culture. New Zealand has an amazing coffee culture,” Chesneau says.

A big focus now is on establishing a strong recycling practice of the portion coffee pods, which are made from aluminium and can be melted down and reused.

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