Q&A: Francisco Nogueira, Managing Director for UK & Ireland, Nespresso

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Francisco Nogueira has been with Nestle-owned coffee brand Nespresso since 2008. In his latest role as managing director for the UK and Ireland he is responsible for driving growth in one of the world's largest coffee drinking markets. Here, he talks customer experience, growth opportunities and his favourite morning coffee.

RF. What originally drew you to the Nespresso brand?

FN. Coming from a market with strong coffee culture, Nespresso was a natural choice for me at the time. The company has a strong history of creating high-quality coffee, innovative machines and personalised services which have revolutionised the way people around the world enjoy coffee. Today, Nespresso is one of the UK’s most recognised coffee brands and our dedication to quality coffee and service is being rewarded by our customer’s loyalty.

RF. You've been with the company since 2008. How has the brand - and consumer tastes - evolved in that time?

FN. The UK, traditionally a nation of tea drinkers, has seen an unprecedented demand for high-quality coffee out-of-home. Consumers are more curious about coffee and demanding about its quality. Nespresso has responded to this by expanding and innovating our retail offering through the roll-out of Nespresso boutiques across the UK and the launch of Café Nespresso - the UK’s first Nespresso café earlier this year. We put the customer experience at the heart of our business. For us to succeed it is imperative we keep up with the demand for new and exciting coffee blends and flavours. We continually innovate our Grands Crus by launching exclusive and sometimes limited edition coffees that offer the ultimate coffee experience and satisfy the increasingly diverse taste preferences of consumers in the UK.

RF. Nespresso has more than 450 boutiques (designed by French architect Francis Krempp) worldwide. What makes the in-store experience such a success?

FN. Nespresso Boutiques have been designed to provide our customers with a luxury in-store experience. The boutiques provide a unique opportunity to experience the full range of Nespresso coffees. Nespresso experts are also on hand to provide expert advice to customers on their coffee options, the origin of their blend and the range of machines available to them. By regularly updating our in-store experience according to market insights and the needs of our customers, we are able to maintain a successful retail model and unique shopping experience. Our most recent boutique innovation is ‘Self Selection’. This is an automated service which allows Nespresso Club members to select an assortment of capsules from a self-replenishing wall of coffee. The whole process has been designed to create a seamless consumer purchasing experience.

RF. The company opened its first Cafe Nespresso in the UK in June, following a pilot in Vienna in 2015. What sets the cafe concept apart from other coffee shop experiences?

FN. Café Nespresso is much more than a traditional coffee shop, it offers customers a redefined premium coffee experience. The new café encourages customers to ‘Find Your Unusual’ and try something different. It offers the opportunity to taste 11 Grand Cru coffees from the Nespresso Business Solutions range which has been designed specifically for the restaurant, hotel and office sector.

RF. Does the company have plans to open further sites in the UK?

FN. The UK is a thriving market for Nespresso and we are continuing to look at growth opportunities across the country. Nespresso has a long-term ambition to make sure that our consumers in the UK can access a Nespresso retail point within one hour of their location. To that end, we recently announced the opening of four new boutiques, with four more in the pipeline, with a particular focus on the North of England. Café Nespresso is unique in the UK and we will be closely monitoring and evaluating its success in London. If consumers respond well to this new experience, we will consider rolling out the concept more widely.

RF. What is the key to Nespresso's sustained success?

FN. Nespresso provides an exceptional range of blends and coffees developed to suit every taste preference and occasion. Our customers know that with Nespresso, they can enjoy a consistently quality cup of coffee whether at home or in the office quickly and easily. Our passion for perfection is reflected in our coffee quality which is rigorously managed at every step of production. Our continued focus on sustainable quality ensures we deliver an experience that people want to try and are proud to be part of.

RF. . What are your priorities for Nespresso over the next few years?

We are focused on expanding our retail offering and providing increased access to high-quality coffee in the UK in 2016. Our retail offering has grown rapidly over the past few years. We have an ambition ensure every British customer is no more than an hour’s drive away from a Nespresso boutique. To that end, we have plans to open 8 new boutiques across the UK by December 2016. Our boutique expansion is a direct response to our increasing customer base and the heightened demand for the Nespresso in the UK.

RF. Finally, what's your favourite Nespresso capsule?

FN. That is a tough question as it really depends on the time of day. My favourite morning coffee is the Nespresso Morning Envivo Lungo coffee, sometimes with milk, which is best enjoyed with fruits and cereal.

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