MILAN – At Venditalia 2018, we met with Jeroen Beers, Sales Director at Bravilor Bonamat, a leading manufacturer of professional beverage preparation systems for hot beverages such as coffee and tea.
Can you introduce us to your company?
“Bravilor hasn’t only recently entered into the Italian market. We have been in Italy for decades, but so far only with a few partners. We believe we can do more here in Italy. And that’s why we’ve decided to open our own branch office in Milan, two years ago.“
Bravilor with its coffee machines entered the Italian market, Italy the country and base of espresso. Why this choice?
“We noticed that the filter coffee segment has been increasing. We are the European market leader in this segment and want to establish our brand more. That’s one of the reasons to choose for Italy, to promote our professional filter coffee systems.
Italy also plays an important role in tourism. Italy is famous for their perfect espressos, but for some locations manual espresso machines are not the best solution. Because sometimes it’s about large volumes of coffee, to be served in a limited period of time. And we offer a range of machines: so espresso machines, instant machines, liquid coffee machines, bean-to-cup machines, filter coffee machines. From the smallest one to the big ones. Bravilor Bonamat wants to be that company that offers a solution for every possible location.“
What expectations do you have in Italy?
“We want to extend our market share in Italy, with dedicated partners, the right dealers. That’s also why we’re here as an exhibitor on the Venditalia, once again. We want to work with various dealers throughout Italy. We want to support them to sell our machines to their customers to use it in the best ways possible.“
And what about the rest of the world?
“Above all, our aim is to produce high quality coffee machines in the Netherlands, we engineer and develop products to distribute globally from our headquarters in the Netherlands. In addition, we distribute to our own branch offices. Today, we only produce in the Netherlands. But, at this very moment we’re building a second factory in Poland. Our branch offices are located in Norway, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, France, UK, Italy and the USA. And, since April we have started a branch office in Spain and Portugal. “
Which expectations do you have regarding trends in the coffee market?
“I think that everybody sees that bean-to-cup solutions are getting more and more popular. Bean-to-cup and filter coffee are gaining in popularity. Just like the specialty coffees.”
And what about consumption habits? Are you working on a cold brew machine?
“We see that consumption habits vary from country to country. So, in Italy for example you have a particular espresso culture. Instead, in the North of Europe they are keen on filter coffee. In the USA, they are interested in Coffee-to-Go. The UK is similar to the USA. On other trade fairs we have seen cold brew coffees, or Nitro Brew Coffees. And we’re still wondering: Is it only something that’s trending for a limited period of time or will it be there to stay. For us as a manufacturer, it will take some time to invest in cold brew systems and gain the knowledge. If at all interesting, and there are already many partners in the market.”
In which ways are the Bravilor machines sustainable?
“If you go to our website, you can read more about Bravilor Bonamat and sustainability. And, I think that sustainability can be divided in two ways. If we look to our machines, we have been building them with durable and recyclable materials.
Of course, we want our products to be energy efficient too. Therefore all fresh brew machines carry an A energy rating and most machines for instant ingredients are rated A+, in accordance with the industry standard EVA-EMP3.0b (energy consumption protocol).
If we look to our company, we are also doing our utmost to use as less energy as we can. For example, some years ago we have had our buildings checked on energy consumption and improved it considerably with better isolation.“
Your company has a philosophy regarding job hiring young people. Can you explain to us what does the recruitment of trainees consist of?
“We have a philosophy regarding the recruitment of new people. I think it’s quite natural that if you are hiring new people you want to establish a good balance between young professionals and older experienced people. So, we’re trying to observe the best ways possible. But at the same time we’re seeing now that the unemployment rating is going down, thanks to a better economy. So a lot of companies need more employees. Now it depends on the people that are available, to suit the position in the market.”
Today, speed is everything. Can your machines meet the tight deadlines that consumers want without sacrificing quality?
“Speed is definitely one of the things customers ask for. Luckily, we have many machines to choose from. I think that if you want a fast coffee machine then you have to choose either for liquid coffee (concentrate coffee) or instant coffee. Instead, if you want more quality, you can choose for an espresso system or bean-to-cup vending system. They take more time to prepare the coffee, but it will be made from freshly ground beans.”
How can a foreign company that produces espresso machines succeed, compared to the Italian market that has made espresso into a real national symbol?
“We’re in the Italian market, and have been for decades, but predominately with filter coffee solutions. And, we are successful in that segment. We want to offer various solutions to the Italian market. Also fully automatic espresso solutions – something different on the Italian market. But our main focus will be filter coffee and instant coffee. Yes, we do have espresso machines, but we cannot teach Italians how to prepare espresso, they already know! “
Water is an essential element preparing both espresso and long coffee. What does your company say about it?
“I can confirm. We make very good machines however, you need good quality water and good coffee grounds to make it work. Those ingredients are crucial and will deliver a very good cup of coffee.”