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Barista to enter FMCG business, open restaurants

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NEW DELHI: Barista, one of India’s largest café chains, is getting ready for its second innings. The troubled espresso bar chain, which has seen four owners, is giving a fillip to its food business by opening restaurants under the Barista brand.

It is also foraying into the FMCG category.

The New Delhi-headquartered chain, which competes with Café Coffee Day, Tata Starbucks and Costa Coffee, will also add 300 outlets in three years, taking the total number of Barista cafés to 500, Barista’s CEO Puneet Gulati told TOI.

“We will open 50 new outlets, mainly through the franchise route by March next year,” he said. “In addition, we will open one new multi-cuisine restaurant called Barista Diner every month, which will be an all-day diner with live cooking. We have opened a diner in Noida and will follow it up with new ones in Punjab and Banjara Hills in Hyderabad.”

Barista will launch FMCG products, including honey, instant coffee, chocolates and cookies, which will be sold through modern retail. “We got the idea to enter the FMCG segment when we realised merchandise sales at our outlets contributing 12-14% to our top line,” said Gulati. He claimed Barista currently has a market share of around 11% in the organised café market.

Market research firm Euromonitor had pegged the size of the market for specialist coffee shops in India at around Rs 2,500 crore in 2017. The segment has been growing by around 13% annually.

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