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Punjab becomes hot café zone

Punjab, a state largely famous for its consumption of scotch whisky, now seems to be tilting towards another liquor - coffee. Rachit Vats reports.

business Updated: Nov 28, 2011 22:53 IST
Rachit Vats

Punjab, a state largely famous for its consumption of scotch whisky, now seems to be tilting towards another liquor - coffee. The likes of Costa Coffee, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, are making a beeline for the state and existing players such as Café Coffee Day and Barista are looking at expansion.

UK's Costa Coffee is all set to make a second entry in the state. "The initial foray two years ago did not work as the cities in the state were not ready then," said Santhosh Unni, CEO, Costa Coffee (India). "Our plan was to go from tier 1 to tier 2 towns. Now, we are looking to re-enter Punjab."

California-based Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is set to make a debut in the state and plans to open 15 stores. "Youth here is more involved and well travelled," said Vinay Gopinath, head - sales and marketing, Blue Foods, the franchisee partner of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in India. "We are looking to make a beginning with Chandigarh and Jalandhar."

VG Siddhartha-owned Amalgamated Bean Company, which runs the Café Coffee Day chain, has 37 stores in Punjab of which 26 are in Chandigarh. By March 2012, the company is looking at a total of 50 cafes in the state. Barista on the other hand has 15 stores and is looking at expansion.