As part of the 2021 C&I Industry Leaders Forum, C&I caught up with Rolando Schirato, Managing Director, Vittoria Food & Beverage, who told us that Vittoria’s priority would be to explore new convenience formats and to continue evolving with changing consumption habits throughout 2021.

C&I: Highlight one achievement at Vittoria Food & Beverage that you’re particularly proud of over the past 12 months.

Schirato: As Australians spent more time at home due to COVID-19 restrictions, we noticed this didn’t translate into people having more time. In response, we developed a range of new convenience formats to make it easier for people to enjoy high-quality coffee at home.

Initially, we launched our range of Nespresso* compatible aluminium capsules in Woolworths and became the fastest growing Nespresso* compatible manufacturer in Woolworths for the year^. We are excited about making this range accessible to more retailers and consumers.

We recently announced the introduction of several signature Vittoria Coffee blends into new convenience formats including instant coffee and coffee bags that will appeal to coffee lovers chasing convenience, without compromising on quality or flavour.

C&I: What do you enjoy most about convenience and what is one challenge you’d like to see addressed in the industry?

Schirato:  Many of the historical challenges in the industry regarding coffee quality have been tackled by players like EG (Euro Garages) and Caltex (now Ampol) and it is now really the ongoing roll out and constant improvement and maintenance of these initiatives that is required.

It’s been great seeing the industry move towards offering higher quality coffees for people on the go. Enhancements and innovations in bean-to-cup machines are helping to deliver a better coffee through improved espresso coffee extraction and milk texture.

Retailers are also increasing their appetite to invest in higher grade Arabica coffee blends to complement this offering.

We’re seeing P&C retailers like Ampol and EG moving to more accessible barista-made coffee outlets throughout their network and investing heavily in the training of their staff and industry-leading equipment to lead the channel in quality and consistency.

C&I: What is the primary focus for Vittoria Food & Beverage in 2021?

Schirato: Our primary focus for the year is to continue to adapt our offering based on the changing nature of coffee consumption patterns.

We will continue to explore new convenience formats. As consumption habits evolve throughout 2021, our focus is to ensure we are set up to adapt to the change. As a family-owned Australian business we have always been able to make decisions and act on them quickly. This is something that has given us the edge over large multinationals, and we will continue to use it to our advantage in a changing Australian landscape.

C&I: How do you envision the next six months for convenience retail?

Schirato: Convenience retail will play an important role in helping consumers adjust to new work patterns. As people begin commuting more and working less from home (compared with last year), we see convenience retailers playing a vital role in delivering convenient, high-quality coffees.

Retailers should ensure they are providing quality product, in the most efficient and convenient ways possible. Along with ensuring their grocery offering on shelf is reflecting the changes in consumption with more coffee being consumed at home and across more formats than pre-COVID.

^Source data: IRI Scan to 02/05/2021

*Nespresso is a trademark of Societe des Produits Nestle SA. Neither that company nor its affiliates have manufactured or endorsed this product in any way and have no association to Vittoria Food & Beverage or the Vittoria® Coffee brand. Compatible with Nespresso original machines.

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