Complex Made Simple

Attibassi and the Middle Eastern coffee market

Within six months of its regional debut in Dubai, the Italian brand has opened six new locations around the city and is now aiming for seven more.

Founded in 1918, Attibassi is the flagship brand of Co.Ind, one of the largest coffee roasters in Italy and supplier to well-known coffee companies such as Nestlé, Caffè Nero and Armani, to name a few.

The debut Dubai shop opened its doors late last year. There, guests can enjoy a fine cup of coffee, rent a book from the café’s “glass room” or simply get some work done. The cafe has also added a cigar lounge so smokers and cigar aficionados can spend their hours there, unaffected by the seasons and the scorching summer heat.

Coffee is by no means a new fad in the region; it has been consumed for centuries and is prevalent in Arab traditions and heritage. Serving the beverage is a sign of good hospitality and manners, especially for the older inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula. Coffee is still very popular among a majority of nationals and expats in the GCC region, maintaining its value as a pastime and a social activity by itself.

The 2015 Coffee Survey report, released by survey platform Zagat earlier this year, revealed that the UAE coffee market is expected to grow by 35 per cent in the coming five years. Such forecasts naturally invite more international coffee brands such as Attibassi to come in and get a share of the expanding market.

“The Middle East is a very good region to expand the coffee distribution,” says Costantino Bertuzzi, managing partner and franchise director for MENA at Attibassi. “The consumption over here is huge: more than 3.4 billion cups of coffee per day are consumed in the UAE. Companies such as Nestlé consider the Middle East to be the future.”

Bertuzzi – a heavy coffee drinker himself, consuming an average of 20 to 30 cups everyday – reveals the strategy by which Attibassi is expanding its global footprint.

“Standardising is the key to success. We have an inspector that constantly checks the food quality; everything has to be done following certain parameters,” he explains.

In addition to serving coffee, Attibassi outlets offer juices and food, where the brand is equally eager to maintain quality and standardisation, all the while offering a variety of food options that differs depending on the location. Going forward, the brand is even looking to launch its own tea label.

“We are about to introduce organic fruit juices. We buy everything from a distributor of only organic products,” Bertuzzi reveals. “We are looking for a company that will make a private tea label for us, so that we can have our own Attibassi label tea as well.”

Attibassi’s ambitious plans for the future also include going regional with planned debuts in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

In the interview below, Bertuzzi talks more about the brand’s franchises in the Middle East.