Spotlight On: Rombouts
We caught up with Simon Remmer, Sales Director at Rombouts to find out about their new speciality tea range and to pick his brain on the world of coffee…
What coffee trends have you noticed lately?
Cold brew, iced coffee and nitro coffee are all big trends at the moment – they’ve been around for a while but are really hitting the masses now and we believe will be a regular feature throughout the summer months for years to come. The hot beverage market is still dominated by lattes, cappuccinos and Americanos but there is movement towards smaller milk drinks, like flat whites and cortados and also better quality filter coffees. The flat white is becoming an increasingly more popular choice as people look to both reduce the volume of milk they are consuming (for health reasons and personal lifestyle choices) and so they can taste the coffee they are drinking, which can often be masked in the bigger milk drinks.
Good quality filter coffee is also on the increase. We have seen a rise in the number of outlets looking to serve a better quality filter or bulk brew option as their customers become aware of the origins of coffee and the specific taste profiles they enjoy.
How closely do you follow trends and how does this affect your business?
At Rombouts we have a diverse customer base so it’s our job as coffee experts to keep up with the latest trends. We research and develop, if necessary, ideas and equipment to help our customers keep up with new beverage trends. With cold brew, for example, we have customers who are looking to produce large volumes of cold brew coffee to meet their demand and at the same time smaller customers just dipping a toe into the water, so we need to ensure we have solutions for both that are commercially viable for our customers.
Rombouts has a huge pool of coffee expertise to draw on; from very hands-on commercial experience through to very technical coffee knowledge. We understand that whilst some customers are very interested in advanced barista skills from more of a technical standpoint, many more want to know how to make consistently great coffee as easily and efficiently as possible. With this in mind we offer different levels of training to cater for all requirements.
You have recently launched a speciality tea range…
We launched our Majes-T range of organic herbal and speciality teas in response to the rising popularity of this particular category, which is partly due to the demand for teas with perceived health benefits. Our range includes green tea, which is known to contain antioxidants; as well as golden chamomile, which is used in herbal remedies to treat insomnia; and mint, which may aid digestion.
We recommend operators look to shake up their menu selection where feasible to maintain customer interest and be seen as relevant across different occasions. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean regular menu overhauls or slavishly following café culture trends, in fact it can be subtle seasonal twists that will have a big impact on customers. For example, our Majes-T range features herbal teas such as rosehip and tropical fruits, both of which lend themselves to being served as iced teas in summer as the ideal refreshment on a hot day.
What were your ideas behind concept development?
As we continue to increase our range of organic and traceable coffees we wanted to ensure that our customers could also depend on us for a range of premium, organic, speciality and herbal teas. We met with tea experts to ensure the best selection of flavours to fit our customers’ requirements and the Majes-T range was born.
What tea trends have you noticed lately?
In addition to the growing demand for speciality and herbal teas with perceived health benefits, we know that consumers are also increasingly aware of the quality and origins too. Our brand new range of speciality and herbal teas not only tastes great but is all organic, giving customers the satisfaction of knowing they are supporting good practice across the food and drink network.
What is unique about Rombouts?
Rombouts Coffee is a family owned company founded in Belgium in 1896. We are first and foremost a coffee roaster. We source, roast and supply premium quality coffees, ancillary items, equipment and service and training packages. Rombouts supply cafes, hotels and restaurants throughout the UK and continue to grow our organic and traceable product ranges.
What are the future plans for Rombouts?
We will continue to promote more of our organic and Fairtrade product range and establish ourselves across the UK catering sector as one of the foremost coffee experts and hot beverage providers with a level of service to match. We are about to introduce our new Organic Expresso™ range of coffee beans, biscuits and ancillary items, which is a result of many years’ work with our coffee farmers from across the globe.
Do you have any outlets internationally?
We do indeed. Rombouts is a Belgian coffee roaster and we have a sister company in France called Malongo. We have partners throughout Europe and Asia providing Rombouts products and services to our loyal customer base across the globe.
Click here for more information on the company and its products.You can also visit Rombouts at Speciality & Fine Food Fair, 3rd – 5th September, Olympia London on stand #2420. Find out more.
By Simon Remmer, sales director at Rombouts