Nuova Simonelli eyes growth in Asia

As the maker of the official machine of the World Barista Championships, Italian espresso machine manufacturer Nuova Simonelli’s reputation precedes it in most markets it enters. Nuova Simonelli’s involvement in global barista competitions is one reason the company has led the way in establishing itself as the most popular espresso machine manufacturer in the Asian region, but it is not the only one. At present, Nuova Simonelli and its sub-brand Victoria Arduino have the largest market share in the Asia Pacific region in the field of traditional espresso machines. Now the company is looking to further solidify that position as the market-leading espresso manufacturer in Asia with the opening of a new headquarters in Singapore. The decision to set up shop in Singapore was based partly on the strength of the market there, but also in recognition of how important it is to be within striking distance of the rest of Asia, the Managing Director of Nuova Simonelli Asia Pacific, Piergiorgio Cannara, tells GCR Magazine. Situated as it is on the tip of the Malay Peninsula in South-East Asia, Singapore is located right at the mid-point between the Asian countries of the northern hemisphere and the entirety of Oceania in the southern hemisphere. This is a particularly momentous move for the Italian company in its quest to further establish itself in Asia, Cannara says. “Just as when Nuova Distribution USA opened in the 1990s, helping to develop Nuova Simonelli’s presence across the American continent – especially North America – the same is happening in Asia with the new Singapore branch,” he tells GCR Magazine. “The company plans to further develop its presence in the vast Asian market, in countries that sit on the Indian Ocean as well as those in Oceania – Australia and New Zealand in particular. In recent years, Nuova Simonelli has seen enormous interest in its products in Asia and Oceania. Considering the possibility of increased coffee consumption there, the company decided to open its own branch to be closer to existing and potential customers.” Cannara says that at present Nuova Simonelli’s largest Asian markets by market share are Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia, while their largest markets in dollar value are China, Australia, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. “The most growth in the next three years will be in Indonesia and China where the middle class is growing quickly and purchasing power of people is increasing,” Cannara says. “Of course we will expect a growth also in Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia but in those countries, numbers are still negligible compared to the others.” The new Nuova Simonelli Singapore headquarters officially opened in April, with appearances from 2014 World Barista Champion Hidenori Izaki of Japan, and the President of the Singapore Coffee Association, Victor Mah. Mah’s presence at the opening was of particular importance as he was able to share with the crowd plans to capitalise on the know how and synergies between the Singapore Coffee Association, Nuova Simonelli Asia Pacific and Santino Coffee Academy. “The Nuova Simonelli headquarters in Singapore is not only a commercial centre, but also a place where you can breathe in coffee culture,” Cannara says. Nando Ottavi, Nuova Simonelli President and CEO, wants to make the new branch the heart of a type of “Coffee Academy” for Australasia, Cannara tells GCR. “It will be a reference point where all operators in the region can learn about the most advanced coffee equipment technologies, as well as new styles and evolution in ‘Made in Italy’ design,” he says. “But most of all, they can continuously analyse and learn to serve the international market, and receive ongoing training. It is no coincidence that right next to Nuova Simonelli’s showroom will be a barista school managed by Santino Coffee, which for years has been one of Nuova Simonelli’s official distributors.” Cannara says that in his experience working as part of the coffee industry all around the world, Asian and Oceanic countries have distinguished themselves as being particularly driven to learn and adapt to new developments in coffee culture. “In fact, in all Asian and Oceanic countries, there is a strong inclination to learn everything there is to know about the world of coffee, and this enthusiasm for education is growing,” he says. This is reflected in the fact that, while traditional machines with single boiler technology are still the main technology that is requested from the market, there is a growing demand for Nuova Simonelli’s latest innovations, such as multiboiler T3 and gravimetric technology. Gravimetric technology, which is featured in the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle, gives users a higher level of consistency and control over coffee brewing with maximum precision. Baristas can set the weight of ground coffee and liquid in the cup for each blend. The Black Eagle also gives baristas full control of the machine thanks to a TFT liquid crystal display with rotary switch menu management. Baristas can set and monitor the weight of liquid in the cup, shot time, brewing temperature, group temperature, boiler pressure, additional pre-infusion, and energy saving. The group display means the barista can control the weight of extracted liquid and the shot time. The “Cool Touch” steam lever is thermally insulated to be safe for the barista and easy to clean, while the Push&Pull lever system lets the barista work in total safety. Meanwhile, Nuova Simonelli’s ground-breaking T3 technology allows baristas to set the delivery temperature of each group through three different temperature parameters: water infusion, steam, and delivery group. The machine does the rest, with digital pressure and temperature sensors instantaneously sending information to the controller, which through three independent PIDs actively manages each variable. The result is maximum precision, control, and accuracy regardless of the workload or environmental condition. Cannara says that the key drivers of growth in coffee culture in Asia Pacific markets can be boiled down to two main things. “Asia Pacific means half the population of our planet, so it is difficult to summarise the concept that is driving the growth,” he says. “Each country has a different tradition, different coffee history, and different trends. But if I can choose two drivers, I would say that the first driver of growth is Starbucks, which I still consider as an ice-breaker in each market, except for Australia and New Zealand. The second driver is the specialty coffee world that represents one of the most interesting communities worldwide, where people with passion for coffee love to meet and spread the latest coffee trends.” The successful spread of these technologies throughout Asia has come in large part from the strong relationships that Nuova Simonelli has with local players in key markets, Cannara says. “The key word in my view is partnership,” he says. “In this part of the world Nuova Simonelli is engaged with distributors and importers that are a part of our family and with which we establish long term relationships that are based on solid ethical values.” The strength of these relationships has meant that Nuova Simonelli has been able to work with its local partners to establish a reputation for strong technical knowledge and support on the ground in each market. “In the past 10 years I saw our distributors growing in each country thanks to continuous support in terms of marketing, training, technologies and sales and thanks to deep dedication to improving,” he says. “I can say that Nuova Simonelli has a leading technical and sales network around Asia Pacific and I am pretty sure that in any remote corner of Asia you will always find a Nuova Simonelli specialist.” GCR

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