SIGEP, the renowned dessert and coffee expo, returned to Fiera di Rimini, Italy, from January 20-24, 2023. We caught up with Marco Comellini, Segafredo’s marketing director for Italy, at the spectacular event to learn more about the company’s activities at home and abroad.
What are today’s coffee consumers drinking?
It is important to note that there is a big difference between what happens in Italy and consumer behavior elsewhere. To a certain extent, specialty coffee is in greater demand in large cities across Italy. Ultimately, people want quality, and many of the smaller specialty roasters can provide it.
At Segafredo, we believe that quality come first. As far as I know, we are the only coffee company in the world that internally manages all stages of the coffee cycle. We have coffee plantations in Costa Rica, Brazil and Hawaii, our own coffee mills, a trading company and export arm. This enables us to guarantee top quality from start to finish.
Internationally, it would be true to say that espresso has become more popular. We are proud to be the ambassadors of the drink. Mr. Zanetti, the founder of Segafredo, is considered to represent real Italian espresso.
However, we recognize that consumer tastes vary, which is why our sister companies offer other types of coffee. In the US, for instance, you will find everything from our cold brew coffees to our compostable capsules. Sustainability matters more than ever, and we must all think about how we can protect our planet.
At SIGEP, we launched a project called Natura, which is a 100% Arabica coffee for baristas 100%. Its monolayered packaging means that it can be thrown away with other plastics and have a second life. All of the point of purchase materials used for NATURA are made from recyclable plastics or materials that derive from FSG forests. Therefore, baristas who use this bio product instantly support the environment, as we plant 10 different trees in Abruzzo where nature is at risk. In a year or so, these baristas will be able to see how the trees have grown, which is a beautiful thing.
What can you tell us about the company and the markets in which you operate?
The company is very big. We have around 40 different brands, but our philosophy has always been to operate under the umbrella of Segafredo. This business model has helped us reach 110 countries and serve more than 100,000 clients around the world. We are present on all continents and have no fewer than 21 coffee roasting companies.
In terms of our markets, the company is very successful in Europe. The US constitutes 50 percent of our business. We are witnessing growth in the emerging markets of the Far East largely due to acquisitions we have made and the fact that people who previously drank specialty teas are shifting toward specialty coffee.
Our growth can be attributed to our commitment to consistency; Segafredo tastes the same wherever you go. Our master barista teaches our clients how to deliver the real Italian coffee experience.
How many branded coffee shops do you own?
We have around 400 Segafredo branches around the world, including several locations in Dubai and across the Middle East. In addition, Puccino’s (UK) and Chock full o’Nuts (US) are part of the Massimo Zanetti Group. We offer franchise opportunities with all three.
What can we expect from Segafredo in 2023?
Although we have established ourselves in numerous markets and continue to seek new opportunities, we must also focus on strengthening our presence in the countries we already operate. Among our brands, we have cocoa, spices, tea and even a guarana drink; we are always proposing innovative products, and 2023 will certainly be full of exciting projects.