Costa Coffee is looking to change Belgium's mind about coffee from a vending machine with the launch of its brand in the country, which will see the high street coffee chain remain without physical stores for the time being.
Launched in mid-September in four strategic cities - Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent and Liège - the coffee is currently only available through Costa's 'Marlow' vending machines and in select bars & restaurants.
"With the launch of the Marlow, Costa Coffee wants to adjust the perception of the Belgians about coffee machines," the company said in a press release. "6 out of 10 Belgians have prejudices towards coffee from the machine 1. With the Marlow, Costa Coffee wants to change this."
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This strategy is part of a push to make the brand a staple on the Belgian market, with plans for 200 locations serving the Coca-Cola owned coffee by the end of 2021.
"We want to make Costa the most popular coffee brand in the country," Christophe Cuyx, director of hot drinks at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Belgium told Retail Detail. The will be achieved through the continued expansion of the geographical focus and product range in the coming years.
This launch in Belgium will place Costa in competition with Coke's Chaqwa coffee brand, but Cuyx says they cater to different markets.
"Chaqwa is mainly aimed at companies that want to offer their employees free coffee in the workplace. With Costa we are aiming more at the barista experience, so we are more in the higher market segment."
Costa Coffee is the world's second-biggest coffee chain, with over 4,000 locations worldwide, with almost 2,500 in the UK alone.