We hear it often…………..barely a week will pass without a few callers asking the same question……..
“we love your coffee……..why don’t you put your coffee in the supermarket so we can buy it when we are doing our weekly shopping ?”
The answer is simple – we want control over the quality and freshness of our product.
You will never see our coffee on a supermarket shelf – it just will not work – and there are 3 very important reasons why.
First and foremost our focus is quality. Just like many other specialty coffee roasters in Australia, we source high grade beans that are more expensive than the commercial commodity/filler low grade used by the majority of providers who supply grocery shelves.
There are over 400 different raw coffee beans available in Australia – this means that roasters can pick and choose how they approach quality. Supermarket coffee produces a product that is targeted towards the lowest sourcing cost that allow the retailer to maximize their margin. In effect, supermarket coffee is built to a budget, albeit a low budget.
Producing a low price, cheap coffee does not take skill or offer a worthy challenge. If coffee lovers in Australia were happy to accept mediocre coffee (as per some other countries), then I would get out of the business as it would be a lot of effort for no professional satisfaction. We know the majority of people who savour fine coffee will search for the perfect cup and it’s this type of customer who we service.
- Coffee is a fresh food.
% of consumers believe that because coffee is stored in a sealed pack, it is the same in terms of freshness when they open it as it was when it was packed. Unfortunately, this is not true.
Of course, supermarkets manage to keep freshly baked bread, milk, fruit and vegetables on the shelves – because they have control programs – generally this can be at the expense of the supplier. However, when it comes to packaged goods with alleged 12 or 24 month shelf life, the supermarkets are quite happy to leave products on the shelves right up until the expiry date.
Take your typical imported Italian coffee – their standard is to stamp a 2-year Best Before date on their packs. Speak to any coffee roaster in Australia and they will agree is both ludicrous and absurd, but the reality is the Italian coffee market is not as demanding or sophisticated as the Australian coffee market. I still do not understand why Australia imports so much Italian coffee when the fresh, higher quality Australian roasted alternative is readily available.
Most consumers think Italy is the centre of the coffee universe. The unfortunate reality is Italy has been trapped in a time-warp for the last 25 years, barely adjusting or improving their processes and turning out the same type of coffee day-in, day-out, year after year using the cheapest beans they can source as coffee in Italy is ALL about price and not so much Taste. Yes, there are a couple of exceptions and without doubt the Italians have pioneered many innovations in the past, but you will rarely find the true quality-focused Italian brands on the Australian supermarket shelves with the exception of Illy.
A highly visible Italian brand in Australia is Lavazza. It is roasted and packaged in Italy a few times a year for bulk shipments to Australia via slow sea freight, stored in warehouses and then placed in various distribution channels for weeks and months at a time. All the smoke and mirrors about the freshness and goodness being specially captured in the packaging process is largely marketing fluff. You just don’t see the Italian coffee brands in Australia talking about how fresh they are………..nope, it’s all about pictures of beautiful people and slick PR. True coffee lovers know you need to use coffee within 60 days of roasting and at very worst 90 days. After day 30, coffee degrades inside the triple foil heat-sealed packaging – it does not matter if it was vac-pumped, nitrogen flushed or any other fancy process……you can’t escape the simple facts = it degrades.
- Offering choices to customers.
Once upon a time, having a good product that was selected to be sold on supermarkets shelves was seen as a prestigious privilege and a “right of passage” for successful companies. In those days, supermarkets needed brands.
These days supermarkets are more interested in copying branded products for their own home-brand/private-label purposes and giving their own labelled goods preferred positioning on shelves and special pricing to entice the consumer to buy their own-branded product. Owning the shelves and the customer’s spend means supermarkets can exert even more dominant and predatory market forces on numerous industries and supplies.
We believe consumers deserve more choice in Australia and we will remain independent and free to innovate, evolve and optimize our product in ways that result in superior outcomes in the cup. Engaging in price battles only results in compromises.
OK, now we have finished that rant………we supply direct to home, office and cafe customers. We cut out the middle-man so that we can offer the best available beans at competitive prices.
Coffee is a very subjective topic. Comparisons are always difficult. How do you differentiate between a seller offering coffee for $25/kilo with another offering coffee at $29/kilo ? Which one is better and is price an indicator of quality ? General logic points towards the higher priced coffee should be better than the lower price.
Unfortunately, price can not be used as a reliable indicator of quality. We run on lower margins than most coffee companies. Why ? because we want everyone to enjoy our wonderful coffees !