Cafedirect expands line to fend off rivals

LONDON - Cafedirect, the Fairtrade coffee brand, is adding to its range with the launch of the UK's first whole-bean Fairtrade coffee

It aims to fight off the challenge of Nescafe and Kenco, which are encroaching on its market.

Three whole-bean variants -- Las Nubes, Mount Elgon and Machu Picchu - will be positioned alongside Cafedirect's existing range of ground coffees.

This comprises three premium, single-origin coffees, along with an espresso and a decaffeinated coffee.

Agency Lewis Moberly has created a bean design that will appear across the packaging of the new range.

A colour scheme of champagne and silver will reinforce the brand's premium positioning and convey an image of freshness.

The whole-bean range is set to go on sale through supermarket chains including Waitrose and Sainsbury's from March.

A 227g bag, carrying the Fairtrade mark, will be priced £2.99. The Machu Picchu and Mount Elgon variants will also carry the Soil Association mark certifying them as organic.

Cafedirect is keen to promote its ethical positioning in order to retain consumer loyalty. Nescafe now has a coffee certified Fairtrade and Kenco has also launched a fair-trade brand.

Lewis Moberly has worked with Cafedirect since 1995 and was responsible for creating the packaging across the company's portfolio.

Cafedirect was the first coffee brand to carry the Fairtrade mark in the UK and is the UK's biggest Fairtrade hot-drinks company, according to the Fairtrade Foundation. Its annual sales reached £23.6m in 2004, according to IRI, giving it 34% of the Fairtrade coffee retail market and 40% of Fairtrade tea retail sales.

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