Brema Drohan, Nespresso UK Market Director, talks about the opening of the new Nespresso London flagship boutique and gives insights into the evolving coffee drinking habits in the UK.
What has prompted you to open a flagship boutique in London this year?
Consumer demand and our impressive continued growth have prompted the opening of our flagship Boutique. It’s located in the heart of the capital on London’s historic Regent Street, one of London’s most popular and exclusive shopping streets. Nespresso boutiques are found in premium retail areas of the world’s most exclusive shopping destinations so it was very important to us that we found the perfect location for our consumers to enjoy the Nespresso experience. And we’re absolutely delighted with it!
How are the UK’s coffee drinking habits evolving?
Demand is soaring in the UK for quality coffee. We recently commissioned independent research into coffee trends in the UK which clearly demonstrates the marked evolution in the UK’s coffee habits and an ever-growing demand to learn more about coffee.
Interestingly, the survey findings revealed that nearly half of adults in the UK believe that coffee represents a higher social standing. It is fast becoming an indication of sophistication and the beverage that we like to savour when socialising. Two thirds of British people even state they would order a cup of coffee over tea when meeting with friends. We even found that nearly one third of coffee drinkers can’t live without coffee in their life!
We’re confident that London’s new flagship will be welcomed by the UK’s increasingly discerning coffee drinkers. Delivering an excellent customer experience is essential when creating a unique environment for Club members, old and new, to enjoy their perfect Nespresso moment.
How would you explain the growing interest around the Nespresso brand in the UK?
We have noticed a number of changes in the market over the years, but one of the most interesting is how the UK is moving from a nation of coffee drinkers to a nation of coffee connoisseurs. Not only do we reportedly drink a staggering 511 million cups of coffee every week (according to reports in The Independent in 2011), but we have also developed an increasingly discerning palate for more complex taste and aroma profiles in our drinks.
Our growing success in the UK can be attributed to the fact that we have been able to drive and respond to the demand for increased in-depth coffee knowledge, providing everything that consumers need to recreate a barista style quality coffee experience in the home.
Nearly one third of coffee drinkers can’t live without coffee in their life.
Market Director, Nespresso UK
Due to Britain’s increasing interest in gastronomy, many of us are also more aware of the fact that coffee - like wine and food - exists across a broad spectrum of intensities, textures and bodies. Nespresso prides itself on its coffee knowledge. Our coffee specialists are trained intensively to learn each of our Grands Crus’ subtle properties, and as such we have been able to respond to the overwhelming change in consumer demand.
With coffee now an integral part of the daily routine, coffee lovers are trying to create a quality coffee experience at home and are more often than not, turning to Nespresso. The in-home coffee ritual is growing in significance, with our research revealing that over half of respondents put a lot more effort into preparing coffee compared to tea making, as they try to ensure they deliver a high quality coffee experience for friends, family and themselves.
With the UK’s apparent desire to learn more about coffee’s relationship with food, we decided to partner with two-Michelin-starred chef Phil Howard, Head Chef and Co-owner of The Square in Mayfair, to create a series of recipes inspired by Nespresso quality Grands Crus. These recipes will soon be available on the new Nespresso Ultimate Coffee Creations website for our Club Members to recreate at home. The sweet and savoury brunch, lunch and dinner recipes either incorporate coffee from the Nespresso Grand Cru range or are created to be served with a freshly-made espresso or lungo coffee. I can assure you they are absolutely delicious!
As the UK’s thirst for coffee knowledge grows, nearly two thirds of the UK agree that they would welcome a better understanding of coffee with regards to taste, preparation and serving. And that’s where we come in!
London in particular seems to be experiencing a growing awareness of coffee culture and education. Why do you think this is? Do you think the trend will continue to grow?
London offers an unrivalled choice when it comes to coffee and gastronomic experiences and as a result Londoners have a great desire to understand tastes and develop a more sophisticated pallet.
This is reflected by our research, which revealed that Londoners are leading the trend for coffee and food pairing. Nearly half choose particular coffees to serve alongside the last quarter of their dinner party and dessert recipes, as they strive to impress guests and show off their sophistication stripes. An impressive three quarters of Londoners would also like to learn even more about how to taste, prepare and serve coffee as the dinner party becomes a more permanent fixture of the social calendar.
This reflects the current economic environment with people choosing to host dinner parties and socialise with friends at home. All of these findings demonstrate how Londoners are leading the way when it comes to the UK’s evolving coffee culture. By locating our flagship boutique in the heart of the capital, we’re able to help Londoners, and coffee lovers around the UK, continue to learn more about the complexities of coffee.
You mention quality. Do you feel Brits now demand and expect better quality coffee in restaurants as well?
Absolutely. The UK is evolving into a nation of coffee connoisseurs with increasingly sophisticated tastes and expectations. Restaurants have played a key role in this progression. Our research revealed that a quarter of survey respondents state that poor quality coffee in a restaurant would put them off going back. That’s a huge indicator of the growing importance that coffee has to the overall dining out experience.
Therefore it is no surprise that top restaurants have taken note of the coffee connoisseur’s demand for quality. As such Nespresso coffee is a key part of the dining experience in some of the world’s best restaurants including the likes of The Square, The Ledbury, The Fat Duck, Sketch and Gauthier Soho. Phil Howard, head-chef of The Square, is hoping to add one of the Grand Cru inspired dishes to his wonderful menu at The Square this autumn. So keep an eye out for that!
Our research and experience with leading restaurateurs is also backed up by the regular contact we have with our Club Members at events such as Taste of London, where we were a Brand Partner this year. They have indicated that the last quarter of the meal has really grown in significance and that the quality of coffee is a vital factor to the overall enjoyment of the meal, leaving a lasting impression of the overall restaurant experience.
2012 is an exciting year for London. Do you feel Nespresso will benefit from the buzz and excitement in the city?
Yes, without a doubt. Not only do we have the opening of the flagship London boutique to be excited about but in addition we have opened a new boutique in Manchester – located in the Trafford centre – and are also eagerly anticipating the opening of the latest Nespresso boutique on Brompton Road in the prestigious Knightsbridge area.
With the volume of visitors from across the globe coming to London this summer, it is a real opportunity to introduce not only people from the UK who may not have been exposed to the brand, but also those from further afield that haven’t yet experienced Nespresso.
2012 is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate London and what the capital has to offer, in sports, heritage and culture. To celebrate the launch of the boutique and its unique location, we have partnered with iconic London creative institution, Central Saint Martins. We have been working with a team of young, talented students to develop creative concepts that encapsulate our brand experience in a new and exciting way. The top three design concepts have been created into 3D models, which we showcased at our official opening reception for the boutique.
Design and gastronomy is very much at the heart of the Nespresso brand so it’s been really exciting for this landmark year for Nespresso in the UK to have collaborated with these iconic partners.
For more information on the Nespresso London flagship boutique and the coffee research findings, please click here.
Nespresso unveils new London flagship boutique in the midst of evolving coffee drinking habits