Premium convenience: Singapore’s Boncafe eyes China and Middle East coffee market

By Pearly Neo contact

- Last updated on GMT

Singapore-based premium gourmet coffee specialist Boncafe has its eye on the China and Middle East coffee markets, banking on an increased focus on its Ready-To-Drink (RTD) products in line with current trends. ©Boncafe
Singapore-based premium gourmet coffee specialist Boncafe has its eye on the China and Middle East coffee markets, banking on an increased focus on its Ready-To-Drink (RTD) products in line with current trends. ©Boncafe

Related tags: Singapore, Coffee, China, Middle east

Singapore-based premium gourmet coffee specialist Boncafe has its eye on the China and Middle East coffee markets, banking on an increased focus on its Ready-To-Drink (RTD) products in line with current trends.

Boncafe boasts over 50 years of history, and is a subsidiary of Italian coffee company Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group, which claims to be the ‘biggest private company’ in the coffee industry.

According to Boncafe Regional Marketing Manager Tammy Chua, the company is seeing a ‘rising trend and demand’​ for products within the RTD coffee sector within their countries of operation.

“[This is seen even more in] Asia, especially China, and other emerging markets such as those in Indo-China countries, [and] we expect a market demand for this product category in these countries,”​ she told FoodNavigator-Asia.

Boncafe launched its operations in China just last year as well as a new office and showroom in Dubai earlier this year, and aims to capitalise on this trend by launching a new range of related products in the two countries.

“We will be launching a new range of RTD Can Coffees under our Italian brand Segafredo Zanetti in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Q3 2019, followed by China in Q4 2019. These will be available in three flavours [in both regions],”​ Chua added.

“[Market research agency] Fortune Business Insights has previously predicted that the RTD coffee category may soon replace the carbonated energy drinks sector, [and we want to be ahead of the curve on this].”

In Singapore, the company’s instant coffee range has received certification from the Health Promotion Board to contain ‘No Added Sugar’, and its RTD iCafe range has been certified as ‘Low Fat’.

The company is also hoping to hop on the plant-based trend, by incorporating the use of non-dairy milks into its products.

“With consumers being more health conscious and increasing awareness of what goes into individual diets, non-dairy products have seen a steady increase in its demand,” ​said Chua.

“With this in mind, we have introduced Oatly into our range of products to provide consumers with a dairy alternative,”​ said Chua.

Oatly is a Swedish oat milk brand, which claims to have ‘invented and perfected the first oat drink in the world’​.

Boncafe worldwide

In addition to China, Singapore and the UAE, Boncafe also has presence in Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Maldives, and Hong Kong.

The company operates 10 offices and four roasting facilities across South East Asia, and has plans to look more closely at the region in the near future.

“We are looking into exploring the rest of the ASEAN countries where we do not have an Associate office at present,”​ said Chua.

Sustainable coffee

Sustainability has also been a key consideration when it comes to NPD for Boncafe.

“Consumers also increasingly expect products to be ethically produced, and are willing to pay more for ethical products,”​ said Chua.

“[In line with sustainability concerns], we have a Rainforest Reserve range that uses beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms from the highlands of Da Lat and Dak Lak in Vietnam.”

Farms with a Rainforest Alliance Certification would need to have met the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard criteria, which covers social, economic, and environmental aspects.

“These certified farms are audited regularly to verify that Vietnamese farmers are complying with the Standard’s comprehensive requirements,”​ said Chua.

Boncafe will be exhibiting at the SEAsia Cafe Expo and Equip&Dine Asia show in Singapore this August.

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