Cooks Global Foods
Cooks Global Foods

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Global coffee retailer Esquires brews Downunder

Article as appeared in NZ Herald, 1 December 2014

New Zealand-based Cooks Global Foods is eyeing the Australia and New Zealand market - one of the few places it does not hold the rights to the Esquires coffee shop brand.

The company owns the rights for the Esquires brand globally. But when this was purchased the rights to Australia and New Zealand were held by Australian company Retail Food Group.

Executive chairman Keith Jackson said while there were no definite plans at this stage, Australasia was an area that was “on the radar”.

“[After the sale of the Australian and New Zealand rights] the directors of Cooks were prevented from trading with New Zealand for a three-year period,” Jackson said.

“That period has now run out and so we are actually looking at options within Australia and New Zealand because we are a global company and we do wish to take our expertise and knowledge to Australia and New Zealand as well.”

Its home territory is just one focus for the company, with Jackson saying the biggest growth market and expansion opportunity was in Asia, where demand was growing rapidly.

According to the company, coffee consumption in China has risen 30 per cent each year for the last five years.

“We see Asia in general, and China in particular, as being huge opportunities.”

Jackson said the company prided itself on using only fair trade and sustainable coffee, which he said gave it an important point of difference in a rapidly developing global coffee market.

“It provides an extremely good grounding in core values and cultures around sustainability, around fairness of treating the growers and the quality of coffee and around basically, looking after the planet,” he said.

The company is aiming to be the world’s leading organic and fair trade coffee retailer, with a long-term goal to have a franchise model. “We don’t want to be running a whole lot of shops and so therefore the people who will be the franchisees in those markets will run the actual businesses and we will provide that overview and make sure that things are going well,” Jackson said.

Cooks plans to have 86 stores open worldwide by the end of the year and at least a further 50 in 2015.

The company’s main goal was to have 800 stores by 2020.

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