Asahi Beverages has entered Australia’s $1 billion fresh coffee market with the purchase of Allpress, a move designed to strengthen its offering to cafes, restaurants, licensed venues and grocery stores.
Coffee pioneer Michael Allpress founded the company in 1989 when he started selling coffee from a single cart in an Auckland park after being inspired by Seattle’s speciality coffee revival in the 1980s. It expanded into Australia with the help of Michael’s childhood friend and business partner Tony Papas in 2000. It has since grown to include operations in the UK, Japan and Singapore.
Allpress sells more than 1500 tonnes of coffee beans annually worldwide – around 120 million cups – to boutique cafes and restaurants.
Asahi Beverages Group CEO Robert Iervasi (pictured main) said: “Asahi Beverages and Allpress are a great fit. We’ve been impressed by their premium branding, commitment to flavour, quality customer service and track record of growth – attributes that Asahi Beverages shares.
“We’re thrilled to extend our portfolio of brands into the large and complementary coffee category, which will also help us meet more of our customers’ needs whether they be cafes, restaurants, pubs or retailers. This acquisition consolidates our position as the multi-beverage provider of choice for customers and consumers.
“Today’s announcement highlights Asahi Beverages’ long-term commitment to the ANZ region, local jobs and expanding our beverage and service offerings.”
Allpress’ major focus is selling fresh roasted coffee beans to cafes and restaurants. The business recently launched a speciality iced coffee drink and a cold coffee concentrate, and also sells direct to consumers via online and through more than a dozen Allpress cafes, including in Melbourne and Sydney.
More than 240 full-time employees work at Allpress and all jobs are safe. Michael Allpress will remain as an ambassador while management will also stay to ensure the business maintains its unique identity and ethos.
Allpress CEO Vaughan Magnusson said: “Asahi shares our focus on quality and have values that align with ours. They are the right organisation to take Allpress to the next level while preserving our heritage, culture and integrity.
“Today’s announcement represents the culmination of 30 years’ work for partners Mike and Tony. They built Allpress into an international brand that’s caught the attention of one of the world’s best beverage companies and we couldn’t be happier.
“The acquisition won’t affect day-to-day operations and we don’t expect anything to change for customers or consumers. It’s business as usual at our roasteries, with the same great local coffee and service. The big difference is we can now draw on Asahi’s extensive customer relationships and consumer goods expertise to help ensure Allpress’ long-term success.”
Michael Allpress added: “It’s been an amazing journey but after 30 years the time is right for the business to go to the next level. The expertise, craftsmanship and relationship-based culture it has developed mean it’s very well-placed to take this next step. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the business and the team.”