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SOUTH AFRICA – Lavazza and AVI team up to boost premium coffee in SA’s retail space

Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed AVI Limited, through its retail division Entyce Beverages and its out-of-home service division Ciro, has secured the exclusive distribution rights to Lavazza, one of the world’s largest single espresso brands. AVI is the biggest player in SA’s hot beverage market.
The South African coffee landscape has changed and developed over the past decade driven by the advancement in the country’s out-of-home café culture. Over this period, AVI says it has experienced strong growth in the premium coffee segment across all sectors, particularly with Lavazza through Ciro with year-on-year increases, due to the division’s success in positioning and driving the brand through the hotel, restaurant and blue-chip office sectors.
The MD of Entyce Beverages, Sarah-Anne Orphanides, comments, “Our increased representation of the brand means that we can consolidate its position in the market and invest more extensively in new offerings and focus on building brand equity. This forms part of the company’s overarching hot beverage strategy to remain at the forefront of the market.”
Paul Hanlon, the MD of Ciro adds, “Lavazza gives us access to global R&D, world-class training centres, patented coffee capsule systems and innovation enabling us to offer an experiential, lifestyle brand to consumers.”
In return, the company provides Lavazza with access to its superior in-class sales and merchandising services in retail and its extensive infrastructure including technical, training and distribution services in out-of-home. Its African footprint, its longstanding trade relationships and local insights and expertise makes for a robust partnership. The intention is therefore aimed at continuing the brand’s local success in out-of-home and replicating it in retail.
Commenting on the significance of the brand’s strengthened market presence in South Africa, Lavazza’s emerging markets director, Darren Dench, concludes, “The South African market is an important part of the brand’s global growth strategy. Our initial success in South Africa has led to a broader expansion plan. To ensure our growth, it’s essential to align with the right local partner which we have identified in AVI, due to its extensive expertise across all sectors.”
Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in the Food Products sector, and centered on the FMCG market, AVI’s extensive brand portfolio includes more than 53 brands; 33 owned brands and over 20 international brands under license.