Asahi enters ANZ coffee market through new acquisition

Asahi Australian coffee acquisition

Asahi Beverages, the Australia/New Zealand arm of the Japan-based international brewery and drinks group, has announced its acquisition of coffee roaster Allpress Espresso, marking its entry into Australia’s AU$1 billion fresh coffee market.

“Today’s announcement highlights Asahi Beverages’ long-term commitment to the ANZ region, local jobs, and expanding our beverage and service offerings,” Asahi Beverages Group CEO Robert Iervasi says.

Asahi says the move expands its portfolio to meet more consumers’ needs and strengthen its offering to cafes, restaurants, licensed venues and grocery stores.

Michael Allpress founded the company in 1989 when he started selling coffee from a single cart in an Auckland, New Zealand, park after being inspired by Seattle’s speciality coffee revival in the 1980s. It expanded into Australia with the help of Michael’s childhood friend and business partner Tony Papas in 2000. It has since grown to include operations in the United Kingdom, Japan, and Singapore.

“It’s been an amazing journey but after 30 years the time is right for the business to go to the next level,” Allpress says. “The expertise, craftsmanship and relationship-based culture it has developed mean it’s very well-placed to take this next step. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the business and the team.”

Allpress Espresso sells more than 1500 tonnes of coffee beans annually worldwide – around 120 million cups – to boutique cafés and restaurants. Asahi says this will grow under its ownership.

“Asahi Beverages and Allpress are a great fit. We’ve been impressed by their premium branding, commitment to flavour, quality customer service, and track record of growth – attributes that Asahi Beverages shares,” Robert says.

“We’re thrilled to extend our portfolio of brands into the large and complementary coffee category, which will also help us meet more of our customers’ needs whether they be cafés, restaurants, pubs, or retailers. This acquisition consolidates our position as the multi-beverage provider of choice for customers and consumers.”

Allpress’ major focus is selling fresh roasted coffee beans to cafés and restaurants. The business recently launched a speciality iced coffee drink and a cold coffee concentrate, and also sells direct to consumers via online and through more than a dozen Allpress cafés, including in Melbourne and Sydney.

“Asahi share our focus on quality and have values that align with ours. They are the right organisation to take Allpress to the next level while preserving our heritage, culture, and integrity,” Allpress CEO Vaughan Magnusson says.

More than 240 full-time employees work at Allpress and all jobs are safe. Michael Allpress will remain as an ambassador while management will also stay to ensure the business maintains the unique identity and ethos that has made it such a success over the past 30 years.

“Today’s announcement represents the culmination of 30 years’ work for partners Mike and Tony. They built Allpress into an international brand that’s caught the attention of one of the world’s best beverage companies and we couldn’t be happier,” Magnusson says.

“The acquisition won’t affect day-to-day operations and we don’t expect anything to change for customers or consumers. It’s business as usual at our roasteries, with the same great local coffee and service. The big difference is we can now draw on Asahi’s extensive customer relationships and consumer goods expertise to help ensure Allpress’ long-term success.”

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