GOKONGWEI-OWNED Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. said it is bringing a London-based coffee brand to the Philippine market through its wholly-owned food and beverage subsidiary as it expands into the growing coffeehouse chain segment.
Robinsons Retail said its unit Robinsons Gourmet Food and Beverage Inc. has inked a distribution agreement with London-based Costa Coffee to bring the brand to the country.
The agreement includes the “supply of Costa Coffee beans and operations of Costa Coffee shops in the Philippines.” The first coffee house is expected to open next year.
“We are pleased to be part of Costa’s exciting plans for growth in Southeast Asia and we look forward to forming a long-term partnership with the brand as we continue to diversify into more exciting formats and bring additional job opportunities for the Filipinos,” said Robinsons Retail president and chief of operations Robina Gokongwei-Pe.
“We are excited to bring the Costa experience to Filipinos, and we can’t wait to share our baristas’ experience and passion with them. Not only are we offering irresistible coffee, but we will be accompanying it with a range of sweet and savory treats,” she added.
Established in 1971, Costa Coffee was founded by the Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa in Lambeth, London as a coffee brand serving caterers and coffee specialists, mostly in Italy. The chain is known for its slow-roasted blend Mocha Italia, and has then branched out to retailing, opening its first shop in Vauxhall Bridge Road, London in 1978.
Costa Coffee was acquired by UK-based hotel, coffee shop, and restaurant firm Whitbread in 1995, becoming its wholly owned subsidiary.
To date, Costa Coffee has more than 2,900 stores across 30 countries in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, North Africa, India, China and Southeast Asia.
“Costa is truly a global brand that is enjoyed by customers all over the world. We are pleased to be extending our reach into the Philippines, where there is already an established coffee culture,” said Andy Marshall, managing director of Costa Coffee’s International Franchise Division.
The coffee shop industry is widely growing in the country with brands expanding locally to cater to Filipino demand, including Starbucks, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Bo’s Coffee, Figaro, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Jollibee Foods Corp.’s Highlands Coffee, among others.