Beer giant Asahi into coffee with Allpress buy

Beer giant Asahi into coffee with Allpress buy

Allpress has about 5 per cent of the Australian wholesale food services coffee bean market, servicing cafes and restaurants.

Soft drinks rival Coca-Cola Amatil has had a coffee brand in its portfolio for 16 years, having acquired Grinders Coffee in 2005. Coca-Cola Amatil has just been acquired by Coke Europe in a $9.8 billion deal.

Mr Iervasi said industry projections were for 9 per cent annual category growth over the next three years in the fresh coffee market in Australia.

Allpress was established in 1989 by Michael Allpress, who began selling coffee from a small cart in a park in Auckland in New Zealand.

‘It’s very resilient’

He entered the Australian market in 2000 with the help of his childhood friend and business partner Tony Papas.

Allpress sells about 1500 tonnes of coffee beans annually around the world – the equivalent of 120 million cups of coffee.

Allpress chief executive Vaughan Magnusson, who will stay on to run the company, said Allpress was budgeting to outstrip the growth rates of the overall market.

“We believe we’ll be able to grow at above market rates,” Mr Magnusson said.

Allpress employs 240 staff and makes about 80 per cent of its sales from Australia and New Zealand. It also sells coffee in Britain, Singapore and Japan.

Mr Magnusson said while there was a small hit to the business from restrictions and lockdowns that flowed on to hospitality venues such as cafes, the category had bounced back solidly: “It’s very resilient.”

Mr Iervasi said the expansion was not designed to try to catch up to a rival such as Coca-Cola Amatil.

“It fills a portfolio gap,” Mr Iervasi said.

He said many of CUB’s customers had kept asking when there might be an iced coffee brand in the portfolio, and also a fresh coffee brand.

Asahi’s acquisition of CUB last year meant beer brands such as Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught and Crown Lager came into the Asahi stable. Prior to the CUB purchase, the Japanese group’s main beers included Asahi, Peroni, Grolsch, Pilsner Urquell, Cricketers Arms, Mountain Goat and Green Beacon.

Heineken acquired three cider brands, Strongbow, Little Green and Bonamy’s, and the Australian rights to international beer brands Stella Artois and Beck’s in a divestment process forced on Asahi Beverages by the competition regulator after its $16 billion acquisition of CUB.

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