Tata Coffee to launch Eight 'O' Clock in Russia

Hindustan Times - June 29, 2006
Tata Coffee, which has just acquired Eight 'O' Clock Coffee of USA, will launch instant coffee in the Russian market under the Eight 'O' Clock brand name. The brand is not present in the Russian market. However, Tata Coffee sells its instant coffee in Russia under various private labels. Tata Coffee's managing director Hamid Ashraff told Hindustan Times, "In the Russian market it is easy to make a major headway if you have an American brand. Though we were present in the Russian market with our instant coffee, we lacked a brand."

The company is building an instant coffee plant at Madurai and is looking to increase its instant coffee sale in the Russian and CIS markets. This plant will be totally dedicated for exports. The coffee distribution in Russia will ride on the Tetley distribution network, which is already well established in that market. Almost 90 per cent of the Russian coffee market consumes instant coffee and is growing at 11-15 per cent every year. The company also plans to expand the existing business of Eight 'O' Clock Coffee in USA and Canada. "They have a strong presence in eastern USA.

They had prepared a business plan for expansion into the western parts of USA and we will execute through the plan next year." "The US market is largely a roasted and ground bean coffee market and the company is in that market sourcing the best coffee from South America. We do not want to disturb that," he said. Ashraff said that the takeover process would be completed by July 31 and thereafter Tata Coffee officials would sit with the management of Eight 'O' Clock Coffee to finalise the business plans.