Nestlé has launched a new coffee machine designed to appeal to Europe’s millions of small businesses.
The Nescafé Alegria, which is being rolled out by the company’s ‘out-of-home’ food services business Nestlé Professional, is aimed at so-called ‘micro-enterprises’ of fewer than ten employees.
Micro-enterprises represent nine out of ten small to medium-sized enterprises in Europe, which in turn account for 99% of all businesses on the continent.
Nestlé says it has identified a gap in this market for a cost-effective system that allows small organisations to make a range of café-style coffees for their customers.
“The days of a plain black coffee are over,” said Michiel Kernkamp, Nestlé Professional’s Head of Beverages. “Consumers want something more complex.
“It’s an advantage for small businesses like hairdressers, florists or car dealerships to be able to offer their clients a latte macchiato or cappuccino at the touch of a button.
“You simply place a cup of fresh milk on the machine and it steams it from above with a hot water jet,” he continued. “No milk passes through the system, so it’s very easy to clean.”
The Nescafé Alegria uses single ‘cartridges’ that can be slotted into the machine to fill its coffee tank.
Made of recyclable carton, the cartridges contain a blend of soluble and finely ground roast coffee. A single cartridge contains 120g of coffee, enough to make up to 60 individual cups.
“No other coffee machine on the market works this way,” Mr Kernkamp added. “For a small company with a limited number of staff, it’s very economic and efficient.”
The design of the Nescafé Alegria is based on Nestlé’s highly successful Nescafé Barista home coffee machine.
Available in Japan only, Nescafé Barista was created by Nestlé’s research and development network and launched in 2007. More than 600,000 have been sold since then, making it the most popular coffee machine in the country.
To adapt the system for small businesses in Europe, Nestlé Professional increased the size of its water tank and renamed it to complement the existing Nescafé Alegria coffee machine range.
From ingredients to solutions
“Coffee machines for small businesses have typically been either too small for customers to handle during peak times, or too large, too expensive and too time-consuming to operate,” said Marc Caira, Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Professional.
”The Nescafé Alegria machine is another great example of how our out-of-home business is evolving from ingredients to food and beverage solutions that provide the right balance of quality, accessibility, time and cost for businesses of all sizes.”
The Nescafé Alegria machine has already been launched in seven countries in Europe including Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia and the United Kingdom.
It can be bought online and from office suppliers and cash-and-carry stores.
Nestlé Professional plans to roll out the machine in other European countries later this year. The company may also launch it in Latin America and other parts of Asia.
Nescafé Alegria website
Nestlé Professional website
Nescafé Barista website
Read more stories about machine innovation at Nestlé:
Nescafé Dolce Gusto machines continue to reduce environmental impact
Spotlight on machine innovation and technology at Nestlé
Coffee innovation in Japan led by Nescafé Barista