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Segafredo Zanetti translates espresso concept into real success.

Segafredo Zanetti" is one of Italy's best known names in coffee, not only because of the considerable effort expended in giving value to the products and service associated with the name, but also quite simply because "Segafredo Zanetti" is to be seen on signs throughout Italy over the doors to several thousands of bars and cafe. Success, along with value, are the particular attributes of this name in coffee. Segafredo Zanetti coffees are among the more expensive in Italy, yet contrary to usual marketplace realities, they are also the market leader in out-of-home consumption,

This means that the company--Segafredo Zanetti Spa--has its coffee in 30,000 bars and cafes throughout Italy, and holds from 15--17% of the national Horeca market, not easy when more than 700 competitors vie for the marketplace. To be first in espresso bar sales in Italy is a prestigious position, and the people of Segafredo Zanettl are clearly proud of the achievement, even as they are being motivated to proceed with equal success on foreign markets, and as part of the rapidly expanding Segafredo Zanetti Group. Among Group holdings are the Italian espresso machine manufacturing company, La San Marco, Swiss-based Cofiroasters S.A., for coffee and cocoa trading, and roasting companies in Austria, France and the Netherlands. Currently, Group capacity is well above 40,000 tons of roasted coffee and subsidiary companies have important market shares for in-home and out-of-home filter and espresso coffee products in several European nations. For Europe in sum, the Group leads as provender of Italian espresso coffee to the bar sector with marketing and sales subsidiaries in Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal. International operations are controlled by a holding company in Lausanne, Switzerland.

And when it comes to espresso, by Group policy, the one and only source for the product is the sprawling, new Segafredo Zanetti Spa facility, near Bologna, Italy. "If the espresso package bears the name Segafredo Zanetti then the blending, roasting, packaging and quality control is our work here," explains Saverio Landolfini, marketing manager. "This is how we maintain the high standards already set for our name in coffee. It is also important to stress that the espresso blends we produce are exactly the same whether for Italy or abroad--we do not blend or roast to different national standards. Our production is like the finest Scotch whiskey--it is made to offer the same excellence around the world. This is part of our 'concept' in espresso, but only part. We believe that espresso is a service. Our emphasis is always on the quality of the cup served to the client."

The concept of service is held as one major ingredient in the success of the company in Italy and throughout Europe. To implement the concept, the company has developed an unequalled 'espresso' network of 67 distribution depots connecting the length and breadth of Italy, relaying via an army of 550 salesman to its host of clients on a weekly basis. Segafredo Zanetti offers a range of bar and catering coffee products, extending to decaffeinated coffees in package or sachet. The leading products are 'Extra Strong' and 'Extra Mild.' These are priced at about 26,000 lira per kilo, meaning that they are in the top bracket as to price and necessarily, quality. "We work to deserve our prices," says Landolfini. "We believe that our success in this justifies exporting the same concept to other nations. This is why we are faithful everywhere to our standards in espresso and to the emphasis on service and cup quality."

In Italy the company is also present on the in-home coffee market, with a 5.5% share in recent surveys. Although not in a leading position for in-home consumption, the company has now become the leader in Italy's small but growing home/machine-made espresso coffee segment. This is due to the strong performance of the recently launched Espresso Casa brand. Segafredo Zanetti France S.A. is one of the leaders of the French retail market (also with local brands Philtre d'Or, Stentor and San Marco). The Group also owns the Tiktak brand in the Netherlands and Fabia in Austria, and has started inroads in the in-home market --with the Segafredo Zanetti brand --in most European countries.

Stefano Trombetti, export manager for Segafredo Zanetti Spa, concurs that the company is growing abroad with the same 'tools' and by the same thinking that have brought success in Italy. "Our espresso product is sold around the world, although we have been most actively developing our position in Western Europe. The leading markets for us are France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. We already serve more than 12,000 customers directly in the Horeca market in these nations. It is exciting to see espresso developing worldwide. For but one example, our espresso is already being served by 350 bars/cafes in Sydney, Australia."

Onevery special tool being used by Zegafredo Zanetti outside of Italy, to spread the gospel of quality Italian espresso service, is its Espresso Bar chain. These are trendy coffee boutiques with the emphasis on serving real Italian espresso coffee. The original Zegafredo Zanetti Espresso Bar, on Boulevard des Italiens (most fittingly) in Paris, is directly owned by the company, others are operated by a strictly controlled franchise program. There are now 24 Espresso Bar outlets, in France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Austria. The newest to open are in Alicante, Spain and in Salzburg, Austria.

Expansion for Segafredo Zanetti has been not only internationally in upscale espresso markets, but by product line as well. Today, the company produces a range of fine confectionery/table top products, suitable for bar/hotel and boutique sales. These complimentary product lines are marketed under the Segafredo Zanetti "Quality" brand label.

As for our interests, the most notable of these developing sectors is tea. Actually, Segafredo Zanetti reports exceptional progress for its tea sector activities, particularly for the Royal Flag Tea line. Royal Flag is produced in tea bags, in soluble form--in sachets for single service--and in liquid form in glass jars. In this, the company is pioneering in Italy in the iced tea area and too with the soluble/sachet and liquid/bottle formats.
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Author:Bell, Jonathan
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Mar 1, 1992
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Next Article:Italy's espresso machine sector; from hard times into new designs and specialties.

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