Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf looking to brew more

08 Feb,2012

By Tuhina Anand


Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) which was launched in 2008 in India is eyeing to capture a segment that has grown up to coffee culture and now is migrating to the next level of coffee as an experience.


The future growth path for many of the players in the cafe business is to offer a different experience depending on the TG. India having gone through the phase where cafes have established themselves as a ‘hangout’ place, there is a need for a better offering for those looking for more. Hence, there is Cafe Coffee Day coming out with its Lounge concept or players like Costa Coffee and CBTL stepping in to provide that evolved ambience. With Starbucks set to enter India, this space will only see more competition.


The organized coffee chain retail market is said to be approximately Rs1,000 crore and has been steadily growing. For CBTL this is where opportunity lies for future growth where, having started with one outlet in Select CityWalk in Saket in New Delhi, in the last three and half years they have expanded to 17 stores, including three outlets at airports, in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Pune.


Talking about their growth plan, Vinay Gopinath, Head, Marketing, Pan India Foods, the company that has brought CBTL to India, said, “We are looking at expanding our presence and clocking in at 25 stores by May this year. There are plans to expand in a big way in Pune, Bangalore and Kolkata. We are also looking to enter newer markets like Jaipur and places like Ludhiana and Chandigarh in Punjab.”


The expansion for CBTL is along four formats including high street, property inside a mall, kiosk model and high profile office building. There are around 2,000 organised players in the cafe segment including CCD, Gloria Jean’s, Costa Coffee, Barista and Mocha among other stores. As Mr Gopinath says, they have been growing their store presence by 25 per cent yoy and that has been the case with many leading players in this segment.


CBTL worldwide has around 812 outlets and their USP, as Mr Gopinath describes it, is having the best coffee on their menu coupled with their mojo effect plus offering high-quality food and the best music.


However on pricing, Mr Gopinath clarifies, “Yes, we do charge a premium but that is only on our signature offering. Pricing of, say, our cappuccino or any other regular product will be as competitive as any other cafe.


“At CBTL we cater to the upper strata of market and it’s definitely not a hangout place. It’s about better experience. Our TG would be anyone 20 plus to 35 who has traveled around the world and looking for a better coffee experience. There are many who are looking for this experience so there is opportunity galore. The positive thing is that finally a segmentation is happening and gradually a pyramid is being drawn in terms of coffee consumption at various places. With increase in coffee consumption outside homes there is immense scope to grow the top end of the spectrum.”


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