Hotelier Express Supplier: Coffee Planet

January 2016's supplier of the month explains the importance of sourcing local products

Coffee Planet holds regular training sessions with clients to ensure staff understand not only how to make and prepare its coffee, but also how to serve and sell its products.
Coffee Planet holds regular training sessions with clients to ensure staff understand not only how to make and prepare its coffee, but also how to serve and sell its products.

How important is the mid-market hospitality sector to your brand?

We have always positioned ourselves as a high quality premium offering. We focus heavily on quality, starting with the raw materials, and sourcing our coffee from 23 countries around the world. We then roast it right here in our certified facility in Dubai, and we distribute it to a variety of different hospitality clients across the whole market. Therefore all sectors of the hospitality market are important to us. We position ourselves as a solutions based company, meeting the specific needs of our customers, whatever they may be. So the mid-market hospitality sector is very much an area we are keen to supply, especially as it continues to grow in this region.

What sets your brand apart from the competition?

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Our focus on quality is a key aspect of our brand that sets us apart from the market. We have made great efforts in becoming fully certified. We are passionate about focusing our attention on the full product cycle from crop to cup. When buying the beans at origin, we invest heavily in facilities and the people in our team. We also go the extra step, providing service and education for all our staff and clients. Consumers are increasingly well educated when it comes to coffee, so we hold regular training sessions with staff. These sessions are important to ensure staff understand not only how to make and prepare our coffee, but also how to serve and sell our products.

Why should small hoteliers choose your brand over others on the market?

We are a local company, and we believe there is strength in sourcing local products. It is important that food is fresh and local. There’s no reason to overlook coffee in that respect. We are also celebrating our 10 year anniversary, and we were recently nominated in the top 20 SME’s in 2015. Small hoteliers will benefit from choosing our brand primarily because we understand the market and the consumer’s requirements. We believe that for hoteliers it’s a matter of trust. We are local here in the UAE. We produce up to 80 tonnes of coffee per month we know what we are doing in taste, quality and demand.

How do you view the growth potential in the mid-market hospitality sector?

The mid-market hospitality sector is growing. A number of new players are coming into the market and business is developing well. Importantly, the changing tourism market in the region has resulted in tourists looking for good prices on accommodation, this has increased the mid-segment and created new opportunities for suppliers. We are continuing to sustain at least 30% growth year-on-year. We also innovate with various coffee products, markets and distribution channels. In the next 12 to 18 months we anticipate the mid-market will become a strong addition to Coffee Planet growth.

Have you encountered any obstacles developing the brand in this region?

There were many obstacles in getting established and gaining momentum here. Now that we’ve been operating here for 10 years, this region represents a growing and dynamic market. Changes in regulations present challenges as the market grows and develops, this requires our company to constantly adapt, often with short or immediate notice. There is sometimes an avoidance of local brands here, in favour of big international brands. For independents, such as ourselves it can be a great challenge to innovate and compete with the multinationals.

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