Hospitality.mu had the pleasure to meet Nestle/Nespresso Middle East and Africa BDM Mr Julien Mario at the Culinary Festival of Bernard LOISEAU at Belle Mare Place Hotel together with his team and distribution partner Scott & Co Ltd.
Mr Mario shares with us the amazing product development and branding behind their great coffee that is Nespresso.
- Tell us about the Nespresso story
The Nespresso story started with a simple but revolutionary idea: enable everyone to create the prefect cup of coffee just like a barista. Since then, our relentless quest to produce the highest quality coffee using the most sustainable sourcing methods has redefined the way millions of people enjoy their coffee. With the touch of a button, we’ve brought the world’s best beans into homes, offices, hotels, restaurants and cafés, delivering the ultimate coffee experience to our customers, cup after cup.
- How were the early days of Nespresso, and how it evolved?
Nespresso was founded in 1986. During the 1970’s, a Nestlé R&D team started developing a project to redefine the art of making espresso. The idea was simple yet revolutionary: to enable everyone, whether in their homes or work places, to make the perfect espresso coffee. In 1986, Nespresso SA is founded with a staff of five employees, four Grand Crus varieties and one machine. The first Nespresso boutique is opened as a concept store in Paris in 2000.
At the very beginning, we had only 4 coffees. Today, our original line offers 24 coffees for in-home enjoyments. We offer 15 coffees for out-of-home enjoyment. We also produce several limited editions coffees each year.
The Essenza machine is launched in 2004, introducing the innovative top loading drop-in capsule concept that has influenced all subsequent Nespresso coffee machine designs.
Each year, we are bringing something new and innovative for all the coffee lovers both in our coffee range and in machine range
- Can you share a few figures with us?
Nespresso now has operations in 69 countries. There are more than 600 Nespresso boutiques in 372 cities in 63 countries around the world. At the end of 2016, Nespresso had more than 12,000 employees around the world, in 2000 we had just 331 employees. And more than 70% of employees in the markets are in direct contact with consumers. Nespresso operates 3 production centres based in Switzerland (Avenches, Orbe and Romont)
- What about Nespresso in Mauritius
Nespresso is distributed in Mauritius by Scott & Co Ltd since 2012 and the first point of sale, the Nespresso boutique at Bagatelle Mall of Mauritius opened in 2013. Moreover, we have other outlets in Grand Baie La Croisette, Ruisseau Creole, and at the Head Office of Scott & Co. Ltd in Riche Terre. Despite being a small country, Mauritius is a very promising market for the Nespresso brand. Mauritians are starting to know the value of a good coffee, and this is reflected with our presence in key regions of the island.
We also distribute Nespresso in the Hotels and over the years we have been able to partner with restaurants, cafés and hotels so as for them propose a better coffee experience to their customers. The Nespresso Café Gourmand is now present in the menu of many leading hotels and restaurants in Mauritius.
- You’ve mentioned Grand Cru earlier. How Nespresso creates this high-quality coffee?
We’ve involved in every aspect of the coffee value chain, so we can ensure the highest standards from coffee bean to coffee cup. Our range of exceptional blends and pure, singly origin coffees are crafted from the world’s best beans. They’re specially made to suit all kinds of tastes and to be at home in every environment – from kitchens and cafés to hotels and offices.
- Nespresso is also about the innovative coffee machines? Right?
From the capsule to the machine, we combine unique technology with quality, speed and smart design for an effortless, state-of-the-art experience. Our machines enhance coffee aroma, crema and flavour, pairing just the right amount of water and pressure for the perfect coffee every time. We develop new coffee varieties to meet consumer demand, design packaging for unrivalled freshness and constantly seek ways to improve our customers’ experience. Towards the end of 2017, we have launched two new ranges of machines in Mauritius: Essenza Mini and Expert.
- How is the price of the Nespresso capsules perceived?
We are confident that our prices reflect the quality of our beans and the level of service we provide to our customers. Only a small proportion of the world’s coffee meets our standards in terms of quality and taste. This is why, year after year we return to the same farmers to purchase their beans investing the long-term viability and sustainability of their farms and pay premiums for superior coffee. Nespresso also invests in trained coffee specialists who provide customers advice on coffee selection.
- What is caffeine and how many coffee cups can one person consume a day?
Caffeine is a naturally occurring substance found in around 60 plant species, including coffee beans, tea leaves and cocoa beans. In 2015, a detailed study by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on caffeine safety concluded that moderate caffeine intake of about 400 mg per day does not have any adverse effect on healthy adults. We believe that moderate consumption is between 3-5 cups per day, depending on the blend. While there is no evidence that more than five cups will negatively impact on a person’s health, everyone should be aware of their own caffeine consumption and define what’s best for them.
- Last question. What else?
Haha! Well, George Clooney has been our brand ambassador since 2006. Not only has he helped to build a more human, and humorous side to the brand, but he has also strengthened Nespresso’s premium brand image and made it a very aspirational brand. Recently, he visited our AAA coffee farms in Costa Rica to experience and understand the sustainability initiatives of the Nespresso. He might certainly be our most famous Club Member, but like the rest of our brand community, he shares a delight in exceptional coffee.