Kings Coffee aims to stir a ‘strong’ brew in Indian market with Vietnamese coffee
It is said that, in the 19th century, the French brought the coffee crop to Vietnam and made coffee popular among the people and the king of the country. Over time, it became the king’s favourite, and, as a result, coffee in Vietnam came to be known as the king’s coffee.
“Vietnamese coffee has a strong taste because the beans are roasted on low heat for 15 minutes. Their coffee blends are delicious. I realised this during a business trip to Vietnam, where I saw a coffee shop at every two minutes of distance,” says Abhishek Khurana, Founder,.
Inspired by the coffee culture in Vietnam, Abhishek launched Kings Coffee in India in 2017. The New Delhi-based startup offers a range of ready-to-drink coffee and pour-over coffee made from beans sourced from Vietnam.
Before turning an entrepreneur, Abhishek was engaged in his family business. Later, his interest in the F&B industry and his passion to start something of his own led him to start this coffee venture.
Kings Coffee offers a range of ready-to-drink cold coffee and pour-over coffee, besides coffee beans and milkshakes.
The ready-to-drink cold coffee comes in a 280-ml glass bottle, priced at Rs 139, and a 320-ml can priced at Rs 250. The bottled coffee comes in original, mocha, latte, hazelnut, and vanilla flavours, while the lactose-free coffee in cans comes in the original and mocha flavours. For coffee aficionados, there are medium and dark-roasted pour-over coffee brew packs—100 grams, priced at Rs 350.
The shelf life of the products is 18 months.
Kings Coffee products are made from Robusta beans directly sourced from Vietnam, which are about twice as strong as Arabica beans.
Kings Coffee is available in over 15,000 shops across India and is also present through airports, quick service restaurants, general trade, and cinemas. It is available in retail stores such as Nature’s Basket, Lulu, Le Marche, 24/7, Wellness Forever, Namdharis, Reliance Signature, and Spencer’s. The products are also available on e-retail platforms and other marketplaces such as, , , , and . The company has 70 distributors across the country.
Market and competition
Though India is known as a tea-drinking nation, the market is flooded with coffee brands such as, , , , , , and .
According to Abhishek, coffee culture is growing rapidly in the country. “India is in the third wave of the coffee revolution, and now Tim Horton’s is also opening up in India. The market looks sizeable and is great for business.”
When asked how his company stands out, Abhishek says Vietnamese coffee beans are slightly bitter, boldly caffeinated, and have a distinctive taste and colour, and the coffee is served with sweetened condensed milk. According to him, consumers like Vietnamese coffee for its strong taste and low acidic levels.
According to Fortune Business Insights, the global ready-to-drink coffee market was valued at $22.44 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $42.36 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 8.31%. The Indian ready-to-drink coffee market is expected to witness a CAGR of 3.3% during 2022–2027.
Growth so far
Kings Coffee generated a turnover of Rs 24 crore in FY22 and expects Rs 35 crore in FY23.
The company says it has sold over 15 lakh bottles, 11 lakh cans, and 1.5 lakh pour-over packs. Over 85% of its revenue comes from offline channels.
The bootstrapped startup was started with an initial investment of Rs 15 lakh, raised from friends and family. Kings Coffee has received a Rs 20-crore commitment from angel investors at equity dilution.
The company plans to launch vegan coffee and expand its milkshake portfolio. It aims to generate a revenue of Rs 100 crore by 2024.
The startup has a manufacturing unit in Vietnam, catering to the whole of Southeast Asia. It plans to set up two manufacturing units—one in GCC to serve the MENA region and another in India to serve India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.