New coffee pairing in Japan


Coffee and cigarettes is something of a well-known pairing, isn’t it?

It conjures up images of antiquated debate-filled coffee houses of old, doesn’t it?

The coupling even became the title of the black and white urban comedy by Jim Jarmusch.

However, in Japan, as reported in The Japan Daily Press, this duo has now become something of a marketing phenomenon.

Tully’s Barista blend coffee, however, comes with 410 yen worth of Philip Morris’ Lark cigarettes, in a new marketing initiative in the country.

The two come together in the same packaging.

Apparently, Lark is something of an innovator when it comes to marketing strategies, including the use of an advert using Timothy Dalton, of James Bond fame.

There is an option as to the quantity of cigarettes you want   from 1mg, 3mg or 6mg   and the coffee blend is standard to all three options.

Let’s see if this campaign takes off. If you could choose another coffee pairing, what would it be?

Chocolate and coffee is something of a traditional coupling.

Or perhaps a DVD of relaxing music to sip your cuppa to?

Makes you think, doesn’t it, of all the other pairings out there that might work well too?

Does drinking coffee make you happy?


You might be surprised to hear that   from a medical perspective   the answer may well be ‘yes!’

One of the news stories about coffee at present focuses on findings in a journal called PloS ONE and, as reported in Medical Daily, this could be good news for coffee-drinkers.

The research was carried out by a German team.

What did they discover?

Apparently those who had a dose of caffeine (which was about the same as drinking two or three cups of coffee), were more accurate and quicker to recognise positive words.

However, they did not have a similar stimulation on the participants of the research project as far as negative words were concerned.

Previously, it has been shown that we are speedier and better at spotting positive images, sounds and words, but scientists wanted to see if caffeine could help this process along.

The results of these investigations were interesting   it is thought that caffeine may stimulate that part of the brain which is related to positivity, but not negativity.

Now isn’t that something to think about when you next slurp on your morning cup of joe?

Let’s see how further research on the topic progresses.

Good News About Coffee !!!

New research about the possible health benefits of coffee.

Coffee lovers may be raising their cups—and perhaps eyebrows—at the recent news (in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry) that the drink contains soluble fiber, the type that can help lower cholesterol. With about 1 gram per cup, coffee’s fiber impact is modest. But the report is the latest in a growing stream of positive news about coffee.

Some of the most promising findings come from studies of diabetes. When Harvard researchers combined data from nine studies involving more than 193,000 people, they found that regular coffee drinkers had a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who abstained. The more they drank, the lower their risk.

And, despite coffee’s reputation for being bad for the heart, recent epidemiologic studies haven’t found a connection; some even suggest coffee can be protective. A study in February’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that healthy people 65 and over who drank four or more cups of caffeinated beverages daily (primarily coffee) had a 53 percent lower risk of heart disease than non-coffee-drinkers.

It’s even more beguiling when you consider that the immediate effects of drinking coffee tend to go in the opposite direction, raising heart rate and blood pressure and temporarily making cells more resistant to insulin. “But those effects are probably short-lived, as people develop a tolerance,” explains Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, who has studied coffee extensively. “In the long term, beneficial components in coffee may have stronger, more lasting effects.”

How coffee might work isn’t clear; the studies weren’t designed to identify cause-and-effect relationships. Antioxidants, such as chlorogenic acid (related to polyphenols in grapes), are likely players: coffee has more of them per serving than blueberries do, making it the top source of antioxidants in our diets. Antioxidants help quell inflammation, which might explain coffee’s effect in inflammation-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Magnesium in coffee might help make cells more sensitive to insulin. And caffeine seems to have its own beneficial effects; the diabetes studies found that those who drank regular coffee had lower risks of the disease than decaf drinkers. Caffeinated-coffee drinking has also been linked with reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Bottom Line: For healthy adults, having two or three cups of joe daily generally isn’t harmful and it may have health perks.

“I wouldn’t recommend drinking coffee to prevent disease,” says Hu. Exceeding one’s caffeine tolerance—which varies—can cause irritability, headache and insomnia. (Signs you might be overconsuming: Yelling at co-workers. Watching infomercials at 2 a.m.) The temporary rise in heart rate and blood pressure could cause problems for people with heart disease, and new moms should be aware that caffeine passes into breast milk. Hu has no plans to change his own two-cup-a-day habit. “For most people who enjoy coffee, there’s no reason to cut back.”

Starbucks back on expansion path in Americas, China

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) plans to increase the number of its cafes in the Americas by more than 20 percent by opening more than 3,000 new shops there in the next five years as it looks to rely on tea and juice as much as coffee, it said on Wednesday.

The world’s largest coffee chain is also finished with acquisitions for now, after buying juice seller Evolution Fresh for $30 million and Bay Bread LLC’s La Boulange Bakery for $100 million over the last 13 months. Starbucks also plans to close its $620 million purchase of tea store chain Teavana Holdings Inc (TEA.N) by year-end.

The company also announced expansion plans for the China/Asia Pacific region for the next three years.

„We’re pretty full up at this time in terms of our resources and capabilities,” Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz said at Starbucks’ investor conference in New York on Wednesday. „At this moment in time, we have enough to handle.”

Food has long been a weak link at Starbucks, which plans to roll out sweet and savory La Boulange pastries and other goodies at 2,500 of its company-operated U.S. shops by the end of next year. Starbucks also expects to have Evolution Fresh juices in more than 5,000 U.S. stores by then.

Evolution Fresh should be slightly accretive in fiscal 2013 and La Boulange will follow in fiscal 2014, Starbucks’ Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead said.

The company also is experimenting with new retail concepts.

It has opened four Evolution Fresh juice stores and one Tazo tea shop in the United States, and it plans to add „tea bars” to existing Teavana stores.

The goal at Teavana is to replicate the success the company had adding coffee drinks at its early Starbucks stores, which sold whole bean coffee.

„There is always a risk when you take on all these brands,” Bernstein Research analyst Sara Senatore said, but she added that Starbucks had mitigated that risk by making deals that fit with its long-term growth plans.

Schultz admitted that Starbucks’ growth in 2007 and 2008 – the years before its business plunged with the financial crisis – was „undisciplined.” The company is not returning to that prior strategy of „growth for growth’s sake,” he said.


Starbucks’ consumer packaged goods business, which sells such items as whole bean coffee and bottled drinks through grocery stores and other retailers, could one day be as large as the cafe chain, Schultz said.

Investment Technology Group analyst Steve West said he was encouraged that the company is building a „tiered strategy” for those packaged goods, which will broaden their consumer appeal.

Investors are closely tracking Starbucks’ new at-home Verismo coffee and espresso brewer, which the company is using to grab a piece of the fast-growing single-serve market dominated by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (GMCR.O) and Nestle SA (NESN.VX).

Verismo sells for $199 or $399 depending on size and function. It will create a $30 million loss this year but should add to profits in 2015. Starbucks expects to get significant revenue from sales of the coffee and milk pods used with Verismo, which should bolster the packaged goods business.

Jeff Hansberry, Starbucks’ president of channel development and emerging brands, said Verismo sales are „in line with our expectations.”


When Starbucks’ fiscal year ended on September 30, the company had 18,066 shops around the world, with just over 12,900 in the Americas. The United States dominates that region and will get more than half of the 3,000 planned new stores that the company announced on Wednesday.

Starbucks expects China to overtake Canada as its second-largest market in 2014. The fast-growing China/Asia Pacific region will have nearly 4,000 cafes by the end of 2013, including 1,000 in mainland China, where Starbucks said it was on track to have 1,500 cafes in 70 cities in 2015.

John Culver, president of Starbucks’ China/Asia Pacific business, said sales at established stores in the region remain robust in October and November, following a 10 percent increase in the fiscal fourth quarter that ended September 30.

„We have seen the momentum we had in the fourth quarter carry over,” Culver said.

CEO Schultz told Reuters that Starbucks is in talks about paying income taxes in the UK, even though the company has not made a profit in that market for many years. The move following criticism from lawmakers and the media over strategies that let it minimize payments. The company is expected to make a statement about a deal on Thursday.

Starbucks shares closed down 0.6 percent at $50.79 on Nasdaq.

Cafeaua, ”ultima victima” a crizei din sudul Europei

Grav afectate de criza, tarile din sudul Europei, mari consumatoare de cafea, si-au redus puternic consumul, iar efectul se resimte pe piata mondiala a cafelei.

Cererea de pe piata cafelei a fost considerata inelastica si, in general, protejata de fluctuatiile economice conform statisticilor din ultimii ani, relateaza Financial Times.

Criza datoriilor suverane a dus insa consumul de espresso, cappuccino sau cortado din Italia si Spania la cel mai redus nivel din ultimii cinci-sase ani.

Standardul de referinta pe piata mondiala al pietei mondiale al cafelei il reprezinta pretul de la cafeaua Arabica de calitate dela Bursa din New York. In urma secetei din Columbia, pretul sau atinsese anul trecut 6,7958 dolari/kg, dar anul acesta, pe fondul unei cereri in scadere, s-a redus cu 43%, pana la 3,85 dolari/kg.

Italia si Spania au reprezentant pana acum al doilea, respectiv al patrulea consumator de cafea de pe piata europeana, iar consumul inregistrat anul trecut la italieni a inregistrat un minim anul trecut de 5,68 de kilograme.

Consecintele pe piata cafelei

Influenta scaderii consumului are un efect negativ si asupra succesului noilor tehnologii de preparare aparute pe piata, precum capsulele Nespresso, puternic promovate de George Clooney, dar si cele nou lansate ale competitorilor Starbucks.

Dar reducerea indicelui de consum al cafelei surprins de statistici nu este cauzata in totalitate de o reducere absoluta in consumul de cafea.

Un alt aspect al problemei este migrarea cererii de la marcile premium la cele mai ieftine, de o calitate mai scazuta. O analiza a firmei de consultanta Macquarie din Londra, a aratat un transfer de cerere intre marcile premium si cele mai ieftine de 4-5% doar in ultimul sezon, potrivit Financial Times.

In plus, europenii afectati de criza au inceput sa consume cafeaua acasa si au renuntat la iesiri. „O mare parte a consumului era realizat in afara gospodariei, ceea ce era scump, dar oamenii au inversat aceasta tendinta”, a declarat Max Fabian, CEO al Demus, un producator de cafea italian. Acest aspect a afectat atat localurile, care isi pierd clientii, dar si marcile premium de cafea, care erau servite in localuri.

Singurele semnale pozitive vin din Germania si Franta, unde consumul a crescut, criza fiind resimtita la un nivel mai redus.


Batalia de pe rafturile magazinelor ia amploare!!!

In ultimii doi ani au avut loc schimbari majore in modul in care oamenii traiesc, cumpara sau consuma, si, contrar opiniei superficiale, recesiunea globala nu este singurul factor ce actioneaza asupra comportamentului acestora. I se mai adauga si factori de ordin social, demografici sau culturali, cum ar fi tendinta de imbatranire a populatiei globului, de migrare a oamenilor, de crestere a numarului de gospodarii alcatuite dintr-o singura persoana sau sporirea numarului de femei care muncesc. Dar cum se reflecta acestea in produsele pe care consumatorii le aleg si le pun pe masa?

Implicatiile aduse de acestea nu sunt de suprafata. Sa luam, spre exemplu, recesiunea care a modelat un consumator mai atent cu bugetul de cumparaturi, dispus sa aloce mai mult timp prepararii mancarii daca aceasta ii aduce economii substantiale. Schimbarea profilului cumparatorilor si ale nevoilor acestora aduce cu sine provocari si oportunitati deopotriva atat pentru retaileri cat si pentru producatori. Intrebarea la care specialistii de la IGD incearca sa gaseasca raspuns este in ce mod aceste modificari in structura masei de cumparatori se reflecta in alegerea unui produs sau altul si a modului de pregatire a meselor, in general.

Cumparatorii britanici intervievati au marturisit ca odata cu declansarea crizei economice aloca mult mai mult timp cumparaturilor, folosind surse multiple pentru informare astfel incat sa obtina cele mai bune oferte. Acest fenomen nu s-a resimtit insa neaparat in frecventa de vizitare a magazinelor, ci in diversificarea canalelor de retail accesate – magazine de tip convenience, discounteri, piete traditionale sau magazine virtuale. Prin acest tip de comportament, consumatorii arata ca desi au invatat lectia crizei, apetitul lor este in continuare deschis catre diversitate si catre oferte promotionale.
Planificarea meselor, dusmanul retailerilor

Din ultima cercetare IGD cu privire la ocaziile de cumparare pe care le creeaza mesele zilnice reiese ca oamenii nu sunt nici pe departe atat de meticulosi in planificarea achizitiei pe cat s-ar crede. Doar sase din 10 oameni (60%) scriu o lista de cumparaturi inainte de a merge la magazin pentru cele mai importante cumparaturi din saptamana, in timp ce numarul celor care planifica pe zile ce urmeaza sa gateasca este si mai mic (38%).

Cumparatorii folosesc o varietate de metode atunci cand vine vorba de planificarea achizitiei alimentelor. Totusi, avand in vedere ca trei din cinci oameni nu planifica mai departe de urmatoarea masa, ramane deschisa o fereastra pentru oportunitatile de a-i inspira in magazin. Studiul celor de la IGD demonstreaza cum o simpla analiza demografica a clientilor unui magazin aduce un plus de informatii despre nivelurile la care pot fi influentate deciziile de cumparare. De exemplu:


  •  in cadrul familiilor cu copii exista sanse mult mai mari sa functioneze un sistem de planificare al meselor. Dintre acestia, cei cu varsta cuprinsa intre 25-34 de ani, cu copii mici, vor scrie chiar liste de cumparaturi.
  • in contrast cu aceasta grupa de cumparatori, cei cu varsta cuprinsa intre 35-54 de ani si cei cu copii mai mari nu vor fi asa de atenti la capitolul planificare si nu vor face o lista fizica, scrisa, ci doar vor trasa un plan de cumparaturi in minte in functie de ce si-ar dori sa manance in urmatoarele zile.
  • un sfert dintre cumparatori (24%) admit ca fac o lista de alimente, dar nu neaparat pentru ca si-au propus sa gateasca ceva in mod particular. Din aceasta categorie fac parte cumparatorii cu varsta trecuta de 55 de ani si cei care provin din grupuri sociale cu venituri ridicate si studii superioare.
  • exista si categoria celor care pur si simplu merg la cumparaturi si iau ce le trece prin cap la momentul respectiv. Nu sunt multi ce-i drept, doar unul din sapte cumparatori isi permite sa aiba o atitudine de acest fel. Vorbim aici despre oameni care traiesc singuri, dar si despre cumparatori care provin din clasele sociale de jos, fara copii.
  • acelasi procent de 14% scriu o lista orientativa, dar fara a se gandi in special la ce urmeaza sa gateasca. Acest tip de comportament este specific mai ales cumparatorilor din mediul rural.
  • 6% dintre cei intervievati, mai ales tineri cu varsta cuprinsa intre 15-24 de ani, obisnuiesc sa cumpere alimente pentru mesele din ziua curenta sau pentru ziua urmatoare.


Da-i pe spate pe cumparatori!

Prin urmare, cu atat de multi cumparatori care calca pragul magazinului indecisi cu privire la ce urmeaza sa aleaga nu putem trage decat o singura concluzie, si anume ca acestia asteapta sugestii si asistenta in procesul de achizitie de la membrii industriei alimentare, retaileri si producatori. Acest ajutor poate veni pe mai multe cai:

  •  Oferte irezistibile. O alta cercetare recenta marca IGD cu privire la tandemul promotii si loialitatea clientilor, releva faptul ca promotiile in magazin au un grad de eficienta mult mai ridicat in raport cu publicitatea, merchandisingul sau influentatorii atunci cand vine vorba de convingerea cumparatorilor de a incerca produse alimentare noi. Stim deja ca, din cauza recesiunii economice, cumparatorii au devenit mai atenti la ofertele disponibile: citesc cu atentie semnele promotionale, compara diverse promotii la marci din aceeasi categorie de produse si tin cont chiar de alte promotii asemanatoare care se desfasoara in alt magazin decat cel in care obisnuiesc ei sa isi faca cumparaturile. Acest tip de comportament este si sursa unei alte concluzii a specialistilor de la IGD, si anume ca oamenii se bazeaza din ce in ce mai mult pe ofertele din magazin atunci cand decid meniul pe urmatoarele zile si majoritatea cumparatorilor recunosc ca uneori ofertele sunt prea tentante pentru a se rezuma la lista de produse scrisa acasa. Si pentru ca tot am vorbit de promotii, nu strica sa mentionam ca, cel putin in cazul cumparatorilor britanici, cel mai apreciat tip de promotie sunt cele la produsele pe care le-ar fi cumparat oricum. Acestea sunt urmate de promotiile de pret, de cele la produse nou lansate pe piata, de promotiile pentru produsele aspirationale care devin astfel accesibile si, nu in ultimul rand, de cele la produsele de uz frecvent, pentru care se poate lua un stoc.


  •  Sugestii inspirate pentru alcatuirea meniului zilei. Unii cumparatori vor sa fie provocati la raft de sugestii pentru meniul zilei. Conceptul „Meal Deals” (achizitii inteligente pentru masa de acasa – n.r.) implementat, sub o forma sau alta, in mai multe lanturi de retail europene, s-a dovedit a fi o propunere pertinenta intr-un climat in care consumatorul cauta sa isi satisfaca micile placeri fara a cheltui totusi prea multi bani. De altfel, unii dintre cumparatorii intervievati de IGD au precizat ca astfel de oferte aduc o alternativa mai ieftina si uneori o experienta de cumparare superioara, ajutandu-i si sa economiseasca timp.
  •  Retete tentante. In ultimii ani, cumparatorii au fost influentati si de accesul mult mai facil pe care il au la retete rapide de preparare a unei mese ca urmare a aparitiei unui numar impresionant de canale media – reviste specializate, emisiuni de televiziune, carti si bloguri. Acest fenomen deschide oportunitati si pentru retailerii si producatorii de alimente. Spre exemplu, lantul de magazine Waitrose, in cea mai recenta campanie de publicitate a sa, s-a asociat cu doi dintre cei mai apreciati bucatari britanici. Aceasta initiativa nu este singulara si vine pe fondul unei nevoi a cumparatorilor pentru mai multa informare cu privire la ce sa gateasca, retete care pot fi foarte usor plasate sub forma unor carduri, la raft.

Raftul, ultima frontiera

Unii consumatori sunt mai usor de influentat acasa – prin intermediul mediului televizat – altii insa se asteapta sa fie inspirati la raft prin propuneri pertinente din partea retailerilor sau a producatorilor. Modul in care oamenii traiesc, cumpara si consuma se schimba continuu si aduce cu sine noi oportunitati de business. Studiile IGD pot fi accesate integral pe site-ul si sunt o sursa de inspiratie despre cum trebuie adaptata oferta de produse, tipul de promotii si merchandising pentru a veni in intampinarea cumparatorilor.

Un articol de Michael Freedman, Senior Consumer Analyst IGD

Retailerii internationali in CEE (Romania, Ungaria, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria)-SEPTEMBRIE 2012