Adrian Berry, creative partner at Factory Design, which has recently designed an espresso machine and tea-maker for Hong Kong manufacturer Better Electrical Products, agrees. ‘There is a definite move in the market towards these high-end machines, but there are other areas of development for coffee products,’ he says.
Berry believes ‘there is a general feeling within coffee producers that the time is right to get coffee brewing in the home right.’ Cost is a key determinant in these trends, he says. As the cost of producing semi-professional machines has fallen, so companies are bringing more of them to the market.
Hunt concurs. ‘I’ve wanted to do something like Presso for about ten years, but only recently it seemed that the stars were in alignment [for such a product], as high street demand for quality coffee is now very strong,’ he says.
Kraft clearly believes that the time is right for its Tassimo system, which will accept only Kraft’s proprietary T-Disc drinks ‘pods’. These discs will trade heavily on the company’s local brands, which in France include Carte Noire, Suchard and Twinings.
It is understood that Landor Associates in London is working on the identity and packaging for both the Saeco-manufactured/ Braun-promoted Tassimo appliance and Kraft’s T-Discs.
Following its imminent launch in France, Kraft intends to roll out Tassimo to other European countries. If Hunt is correct, the format is set to take off.
However, Strutton has reservations.’In Britain, coffee makers have to convince consumers to trade up from standard to premium instant coffee brands before they can then sell ground coffee brewing machines,’ she says.
Berry says that to be successful, the offer has to be genuinely better than previous products and ‘not just pandering to a fashion trend’.
‘You have to look at what you can improve: storage, pressure, cost, manufacturing. These products will always start at the high-end and then filter down to a wider market,’ adds Berry, no pun intended.