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Shell hits coffee milestone

Companies

Johannesburg - The European-styled Vida e Caffé is opening its 100th store inside a Shell petrol station in Dorp Street, Stellenbosch.

The coffee chain and Shell started their relationship in 2013 after Vida opened its first shop on Kloof Street in Cape Town in 2001.

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Inside a Vida outlet in Shell. Image: supplied.

As part of its expansion programme, Vida has also introduced a new brand within its stable, known as Torrador, which specifically works within the majority of Shell sites, together with Vida stores in selected large Shell forecourt environments.

Vida’s continued growth comes as the coffee retail space hots up.

Read also: Starbucks has high hopes for SA

Taste Holdings, which has the franchise for Starbucks, said towards the end of last year that it saw potential for more than 200 of the US chain's coffee shops in South Africa within five years.

Taste will open the country's first Starbucks' outlet next year. This followed a deal inked last year that allowed the local retail company to develop and run Starbucks-branded coffee shops in SA.

The first store is expected in Gauteng within the first half of 2016, Taste said in a statement.

Taste, which also operates Domino's Pizza outlets in South Africa, will start with at least 12 outlets in 2016 before expanding further.

Starbucks' entry into South Africa pits it against brands such as Vida, which also has its own expansion plans.

Vida is continuing its development of new stores that opened in corporate and mall environments, and has opened 15 stores in Africa so far.

CEO Darren Levy says “we spent the last 12 months focusing equally on coffee, food and beverage product innovation. October was our new food launch and this has contributed significantly to some fantastic growth in the past few months. As an organisation, we have placed a high level of importance to the sourcing and roasting of quality raw materials that make up our coffee blend.

”The coffee market is growing exponentially in SA and we have to do what is necessary to remain on top in a very competitive space. Given the developments in 2015, I think we're well positioned to do that.”

Shell spokesperson Yassier Abrahams adds the company has seen a “very positive consumer response” to the Vida outlets.

“Motorists are now becoming accustomed to getting their coffee fix at Shell whether in the Cape, Gauteng, KZN or at a Shell Ultra City somewhere in between. It's been a great partnership so far, we've covered a lot of ground.”

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