Gruppo Cimbali is setting its sights on the American coffee scene with the launch of a new headquarters to strengthen its presence in North America, and better serve its partners.
Coffee may be one of the most consumed beverages in the United States, but for coffee machine manufacturer Gruppo Cimbali, it’s a market with incredible potential.
With 85 per cent of Gruppo Cimbali’s revenue made outside of Italy, Niklas Ivarsson, Gruppo Cimbali Chief Commercial Officer of North America, is keen to strengthen its market position in the United States with international expansion as one of the key pillars.
“The market share in Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and the rest of the world is so strong. We believe there’s tremendous potential to reach the same growth in North America,” Ivarsson says. “North America is an incredibly valuable market that we, as a group, feel we haven’t yet explored to the extent we are now. Moving forward with an increased presence in North America will allow us to attain our full potential in one of the largest coffee markets in the world.”
Effective from 1 June, Gruppo Cimbali will integrate its offices and operational activities in a single location in Seattle, Washington to create a more efficient and effective presence. All activities of the previous office in Connecticut, including accounting, customer logistics, and the spare part warehouse, will be moved to the new United States headquarters.
“We are thrilled to unveil this new strategic plan for the United States market,” says Ivarsson. “It’s a great opportunity to consolidate production, our functions, and have the organisation under one roof.”
The company, which includes the La Cimbali, Faema, Slayer and Casadio brands, operates through three production plants in Italy and one in Seattle, where machines are produced under the Slayer brand. Ivarsson joined Gruppo Cimbali in July 2022 to help coordinate the business strategy of the company’s four brands.
“When I came on board, we assessed the entire business and how we could build a future. It was reiterated that each investment should demonstrate our commitment to coffee, technology, and customer-centric solutions and will allow us to provide unparalleled service to our valued partners in every region,” says Ivarsson.
He says this approach and “being at the pulse of coffee culture” in Seattle is underpinned by a commitment to staff retention and providing an ideal environment for its employees.
“Within the last 12 months we’ve seen significant employee growth, bringing new competence and insights to the company. Every individual brings their own set of distinct and unique sales skills to the operation,” Ivarsson says.
“We have acquired staff that have remarkable coffee knowledge, competed in worldwide competitions, owned and operated their own coffee shops, and employees that have up to 40 years of experience in and deep passion for machinery and technology.”
The strategic plan will focus on the dedicated integration of teams across sectors and functioning competencies in the United States and enhance the quality of its operations, logistics, and customer service.
Along with its new American subsidiary, Gruppo Cimbali has also moved the Slayer factory to a larger facility to increase production capacity. “The purpose of upgrading the facility is to support projected growth on a worldwide scale. Having a state-of-the-art facility is critical to support all of the brands that we represent, and
Slayer must be in line with that,” Ivarsson says. Prior to the move, the Slayer manufacturing facility had an installed production capacity of up to 2000 machines annually. With this new facility, the volume has increased to about 5000 machines annually, almost tripling capacity.
“We try to keep each of our brands as authentic as possible and honour the core principles of why we bring new machines to the global market. For Slayer Espresso specifically, it was born and raised as a handcrafted piece of art designed with one purpose only: to make coffee better,” Ivarsson says.
“We strongly believe in the importance of keeping Slayer designed and crafted in the United States. In the coming years, Gruppo Cimbali foresees significant, exponential growth in the manufacturing of our machines, thanks to the new plant dedicated to expediting the production of our equipment.”
With a broad range of coverage worldwide, Ivarsson says each market has its own requirements but the one commonality, is the need for choice and quality at a consistent level.
“The market is demanding skill base, consistency, and reliability. With the current labour shortage, where people want to grow their brand overseas in a reliable and repeatable way, the answer should be reliable machines,” Ivarsson says.
“The name of the game is defending our high market share. We’re already big in Europe, but at the same time, we recognise there’s much more room for growth for our brands internationally in key areas.”
Ivarsson says the integration of Gruppo Cimbali’s brand portfolio, together with consolidated production facilities in Seattle, will allow the company to uphold a leading role in the competitive North America arena.
“The new headquarters solidifies our steadfast investment in the United States market, emphasises our famously thriving operational and logistical team values, and showcases our legendary, world- class position in the coffee industry,” he says.
Gruppo Cimbali is present in 130 countries and has subsidiaries across China, Middle East, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Australia.
Where it does not have a direct presence, it seals exclusive agreements with strong international partners that represent and distribute its brands. Currently, Gruppo Cimbali has more than 700 distributor agreements in place.
“We have an invaluable selection of partners that already had a market presence in North America before we established our own subsidiary here, but we also have smaller, niche partners that will benefit greatly from our support in this region. Together, we can collectively continue the legacy of Gruppo Cimbali,” Ivarsson says.
He says its these client relationships that dictate the company’s overall success and creates a seamless experience for the end-user.
“What it comes down to, is that we are here to service our partners. By continuing to strengthen our relationship with our associates, we are developing clear expectations of the innovation, transparency, and holistic services they can expect from Gruppo Cimbali,” Ivarsson says.
“We recognise the high potential of the market and want to keep close and connected so we can best understand cultural trends and integrate them into our product development. We are committed to collaborating with North American partners to achieve mutual success.”
Gruppo Cimbali is eager to continue this success and cement its position as a leading espresso machine manufacturer that prioritises quality in its technology, production, after sales support, and partner relationships.
“We live in a constantly changing global environment. Where our partners want us to go, we will go. Ultimately, Gruppo Cimbali looks forward to achieving organic and strategic growth. There’s no set plan for the future, other than to listen to the market and our partners,” Ivarsson says. GCR
For more information, visit www.gruppocimbali.com
This article was first published in the May/June 2023 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.