Asda to launch coffee outlets

Asda is taking on high street coffee retail outlets such as Starbucks with the launch of a new style café offering premium products at lower prices in 30 stores.

The Food To Go caf̩ format will sell freshly ground coffee, latte, cappuccino and double espresso at 88p a cup Рabout half the price of coffee at retail brands such as Caff̩ Nero and Coffee Republic.

The new format is half the size of Asda’s 3,000 square foot in-store restaurants, meaning many outlets previously unable to accommodate a café will now be able to have one.

The company claims that the quality of the coffee is high, with the blend roasted by UK coffee roaster Matthew Algie, which supplies The Ritz, Harrods and most fourand five-star hotels.

Asda will also sell café snacks, such as panini, pastries, sandwiches and muffins.

Food To Go formats have been trialled in 14 stores, including Dundee, Dunstable, Hull and Runcorn. The remainder of 2001 will see the concept introduced to locations such as Coventry, Cwmbran, Doncaster, Leyton and Warrington. Asda will keep its larger format cafés at selected stores with wider catchments.

Asda enters the premium coffee retail market at a particularly combative time, when sales are slowing down and chains like Coffee Republic are scaling back their opening plans. Prices charged at the high street outlets are typically £2 or more for a latte and price has been given as a strong reason for the downturn.

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