Coorg in Karnataka, is one of the major coffee growing regions in India. SLN, a three-decade-old coffee plantation company in the region, now aims to capture a share of the annual Rs 2,200 crore packaged coffee market, dominated by big players like Nestlé (Nescafé), Hindustan Unilever (Bru) and Tata Café.
SLN launched its own brand of coffee called Levista three years ago and has since grown to 40,000 outlets, mainly in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. He has now decided to expand into other markets, starting with the rest of South India.
“In the market of Rs 2,200 crore per year, more than 80 percent of coffee consumption occurs in the five southern states and Union territories. Therefore, we aim to achieve a significant market share here rather than being scattered everywhere, ”S. Shriram, vice president of sales and marketing at Levista, told THE WEEK.
“For the moment, we are deeply present in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. We launched our cafe in Goa in February and business is growing steadily. We will enter the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana market through Sankranti and go deeper into it. Kerala will follow next. “
The company also has the Mumbai and Delhi National Capital Region markets on the radar, but has yet to finalize a launch date, Shriram added.
Levista is also available on online platforms, including Amazon, and it is also evolving on other ecommerce platforms to reach a wider audience.
“Players like Big Basket have also contributed to our brand coverage, as has Flipkart. We were recently onboarded via Udaan which reaches small retailers as well as the hyperlocal MilkBasket players, ”said Shriram.
While southern India has a strong tradition of filter coffee, the rest of the country is largely a tea drinking market. However, things started to change with the penetration of coffee shops like Cafe Coffee Day and Starbucks over the past decade. International coffee brands like Lavazza are also growing in the country, supported by the increase in coffee consumption here.
“There is huge room for growth for us. The coffee market is constantly growing. Out-of-home coffee consumption in coffee shops has already achieved a pan-Indian presence and thanks to this familiarity more and more new consumers are sipping coffee at home, thanks to packaged coffee, ”noted Shriram.
Levista’s parent SLN currently has a capacity of over 50,000 metric tonnes per year, and Shriram says the company will be able to produce enough coffee for the domestic market as well as for exports.
Speaking of exports, the brand is already present in Singapore, Malaysia, the Middle East, Maldives and Sri Lanka, reaching South Indian consumers in these markets. The company intends to have a larger international presence next year, Shriram added.