Dubai: Coffee Planet, a UAE coffee supplier, is expanding into the UK market, marking its entry into Europe.
After opening an office in the UK two months ago, the company is looking to set up a distribution network for its coffee beans and capsules and potentially open cafes there to capitalise on the growing consumption of coffee, according to Robert Jones, managing director of Coffee Planet.
“We’ve just started sending products from here to the UK,” he told Gulf News in an interview at Gulfood 2016, the region’s largest food and hospitality trade event, which kicked off in Dubai on Sunday.
“We have a couple of different franchise models — cafes, kiosks and carts. At the moment, we are trying to finalise whether we will work with a franchise partner within the UK for those concepts ,” he said.
The growth in demand for coffee “is huge in the UK”, he said, adding that the number of high-quality coffee shops opening there is increasing, especially those in the specialty coffee segment of the market.
“The UK is a gateway to Western Europe,” he added.
The company is currently in talks to supply its products to hotels in the UK, he said.
Coffee Planet operates in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Egypt, Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Malaysia. In the UAE, it supplies its products to supermarkets, hotels, catering companies and offices.
The company is also eyeing expansion in the United States.
“That might warrant setting up a subsidiary facility because of the timescales of moving a product between here and the US,” Jones said.
Last year, Coffee Planet invested Dh10 million to expand its roastery in Jebel Ali in Dubai, with further plans to expand in the first quarter of this year. The facility has a new production line, which can produce 340 Nespresso compatible capsules a minute and around 47 million capsules a year.
The facility will service the UK in addition to the GCC, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Egypt and Pakistan.