Sara Lee Corporation is joining the high-street coffee battle by introducing its Belgian coffee-shop chain, Jacqmotte, to the UK.
The company plans to open about 30 UK stores by 2003 in a multi-million pound development programme. It has already opened two coffee shops in central London.
Jacqmotte is a leading chain in Europe and has outlets in Belgium and the Netherlands.
The UK is being used as a test market by Sara Lee before Jacqmotte is rolled out in the US.
Jacqmotte is a sister brand to Sara Lee’s Douwe Egberts, which is also testing coffee shops on the Continent.
Jacqmotte will take on rival chains Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Coffee Republic and McDonald’s-owned Aroma.
Coffee will be imported from countries such as Italy, Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica.
Marketing operations are handled in Belgium by marketing manager Damien De Breuck.
Jacqmotte’s UK country manager Guy Ward says: “This is a very Continental concept.
“Jacqmotte targets people aged 18- to 45 who want to enjoy coffee in a relaxed atmosphere.
“Our plan is to open one store a month until the end of 2002. If it is a success, Jacqmotte could be rolled out in the US.”