FiXX coffee sources, creates and sells consistently superb coffee to the hospitality trade and has distribution partners across Ireland. Ahead of CATEX I chatted to Anne Abberton, CEO of FiXX Coffee to talk about all thing’s coffee and the year ahead.
“FiXX is delighted to have signed up for CATEX 2019 as it’s an excellent opportunity for us to meet with customers, all under one roof, and demonstrate the quality products that we have to offer” comments Anne Abberton.
1. How long has FIXX Coffee been involved with CATEX? We have always visited the show and used it as touchstone to keep abreast of what is happening in the Irish market place. This will be our third time to exhibit (last time was 2015) and we are looking forward to what we hope will be a busy and productive three days.
Food and Beverage service is only a portion of what we do as a company, so CATEX allows us to engage with this sector and showcase our offering on a need be basis.
2. What are you hoping to get out of CATEX 2019?
CATEX for us is an opportunity to catch up with existing customers outside their regular environment. It is also a great platform to attract new business and also engage with our peers and discover what’s new, what is working and what is not.
CATEX 2019 plays host to the Irish Barista Championships, so that throws the spotlight on coffee and should no doubt encourage attendance from an audience interested in coffee. We look forward to welcoming all coffee lovers to our stand to chat all about the Irish food and beverage industry and to listen to new ideas or product suggestions that they would like to see develop over the coming years.
3. What do you feel is the key for operators to successfully compete against their competitors?
Decide on what your core business is, stick to it, and more importantly excel at is. Every business has competitors and that is healthy for any marketplace. While it is important to be aware of what our competitors are doing, at FiXX we do not allow ourselves to be distracted by their activity. Their goals, aspirations and resources can be very different to what we are trying to achieve.
Go on your own journey. At FiXX we have always focused our energy on our customers and the quality of what we offer.
4. What’s your bestselling product?
In the Food and Beverage business it is of course our range of catering coffees. In the last few years we have seen noticeable growth in the demand for our Organic coffees which initially we featured only as a retail product for consumers to have at home. However, demand has seen us add Organic coffees to our all year-round catering coffees and find it especially suitable to trade customers who are keen to make a "related" statement about their own offering.
5. What trend, challenge or opportunity do you think will impact the foodservice and hospitality industry most in 2019?
As customers, more and more look beyond the product itself as a standalone purchase and take into account values such as ethics and transparency, how companies demonstrate their commitment to their missions and their visions will, I believe becomes increasingly important in the future. Companies that have clarity in this area will strive.
Experiences are sought-after by the consumer and therefore on the increase. Retail outlets and venues are becoming destinations that offer a range of lifestyle experiences. Socialising is now around coffee as much as cocktails. Outdoor pursuits and culinary experiences all feature highly on how we like to spend our time and our money.
Independent brands can be strong and successful if they tell their story and remain authentic
Staffing shortage for our customers in the food service industry
The continued growth of chains and large global companies with deep pockets, they can pay a higher rent and often get first refusal on some of the best commercial locations.
6. How important is CATEX to you and the sector?
Tradeshows will always have an important role to play in our industry and like any business today CATEX must also evolve, educate and engage with both its visitors and exhibitors so that it remains an important event in our diaries. I believe that now more than ever this is an opportunity for us to come out from behind our smart phones and engage face to face with people. At FiXX we describe our purpose as connecting over coffees and CATEX affords us an opportunity to do just that.
7. What are you most looking forward to about CATEX 2019?
2018 has been a very exciting year for our company. We created a new visual identity for FiXX, and also streamlined our business offering. While our existing customers have been on this journey with us CATEX 2019 gives us a great opportunity to showcase the rebranded FiXX to the Irish market place.
8. Are there any exciting new products that you’d like to highlight ahead of the show?
We introduced our Cold Brew Coffee as a commercial product to the Irish Market during summer 2018 and while well received we were probably ahead of the curve somewhat. We are confident that the market place will catch up and we see a real opportunity for cafes, cocktail bars and gastro pubs to add Cold Brew to their beverage offerings
FiXX coffee will be exhibiting at CATEX, coming to Simmonscourt, RDS from 26th – 28th February 2019. To visit the show, register for FREE via www.CATEXexhibition.com