Premium coffee brand Allpress Espresso has been acquired by Asahi Beverages, as the beverage giant looks to fill gaps in its multi-beverage portfolio.
Asahi Beverages CEO Robert Iervasi told Food & Drink Business the company had been exploring ways to participate in the coffee market when the opportunity with Allpress came along.
“Allpress spoke to needs we’d identified in our broader strategy. Not only is it a premium brand it has a lot of scope to grow its brand equity in Australia, New Zealand and internationally.
“Our strategy, especially after CUB joined the business, is to be in a position where we can be a provider of choice to customers. When you reflect on the business, we’re arguably the largest beverage company in the region with an unmatched infrastructure network. We believe we have the right credentials to deliver a better product and service offering to the market.
“We knew we had a gap in our portfolio and now we can extend that coffee offering and one that is premium and starting to make inroads into the iced coffee market,” Iervasi said.
Allpress began in New Zealand in 1989 and expanded to Australia in 2000. It now has presence in Singapore, Japan and the UK. Its main business is selling ‘hot coffee’ – roasted coffee beans – to cafés and restaurants.
It recently launched a cold coffee concentrate and canned ready-to-drink iced black coffee.
For Allpress CEO Vaughan Magnusson, the deal is the culmination of 30 years’ work by founder Mike Allpress and partner Tony Papas.
“From our perspective it is a great brand fit. It was the natural next step for the business – we bring the coffee expertise and intellectual property, and Asahi has the distribution networks and relationships to take Allpress to the next level,” Vaughan told Food & Drink Business.
Iervasi agreed, saying the two businesses were complementary, with the hot coffee business something Asahi can utilise and grow.
“The iced coffee market is highly competitive but also one in growth. What was appealing to us with Allpress is that their offering is in the premium space. It is the brand and credentials of Allpress that we are looking to leverage in our network,” Iervasi said.
The Allpress management team is staying with the business post completion and the jobs for the 240 people who work at the company will remain.
Asahi will run the company as a stand-alone business division, looking to its management team to drive Asahi’s coffee credibility in the marketplace.
Vaughan said Allpress currently has 1500 customers in the café market, so there is a lot of market penetration still to come.
“When we look at Allpress here in Australia, there’s about 500 wholesale customers, but there are tens of thousands of more hospitality venues we can access because of our broader reach and portfolio.
“You can see there’s a natural synergy there for a brand that has great global credentials and having our infrastructure to be able to drive that brand even further in the marketplace,” Iervasi said.