Mate Štetić, General Manager Of Strategic Business Unit Coffee, Atlantic Grupa

Staying Ahead Of The Game

The business strategy of Atlantic Grupa, and thus of SBU Coffee, was throughout the crisis, to remain a regional leader in the coffee business, to further strengthen its position in the region and beyond

CConsumers are the best measure of quality, so you have to provide a guarantee of your brand, but also to offer them something new, something that meets their needs, you must be ahead of their growing expectations.

Your financial stability let you use the crisis to adopt a new development strategy. Are your plans for 2021 ambitious or moderate?

I would say that our plans are ‘healthily ambitious’. This means that we have not changed our growth plans, quite the opposite.

Atlantic Grupa logo

The stable financial position we had and the good strategic position of the business helped us to be better, stronger and more profitable, and not just marketrelevant. It would sound modest for me to say that we have been working at a moderate pace in recent months. The company has always been focused on strengthening recognizable regional brands, but also on creating new ones, beside the development of the distribution business.

Last month, we presented two new special Grand Single Origin coffees, from exotic regions of Brazil and Rwanda. With new flavours came new innovations, such as the introduction of blockchain technology and products packaged in environmentally friendly aluminum-free foils produced from bioplastics from renewable sources. For now, we are seeing really positive reactions from both consumers and the professional public both at home and in the region.

What is the market looking for besides top quality at a good price?

To remain competitive, in addition to dictating trends, you need to carefully build a relationship with consumers and customers, a lasting one based on trust. The market does not tolerate stagnation, but demands that you always give a touch more. There are many market challenges, today perhaps more than ever, but I deeply believe that our willingness to take risks and innovate with excellent communication with consumers and further investment in core brands will bring us market success in the future.

Our campaign ‘Let’s take the time’ aimed to connect with our loved ones in a ritual that unites us, the ritual of drinking coffee

We are also raising our customer relations to a higher level. I would like to point out the HoReCa channel where we made substantial investments even while catering work was restricted, so with support from our side together with our customers, we are ready for the expected normalization of business, so we expect significant growth later in the year.

We associate Grand Kafa with the slogan ‘Both smell and taste’, the two senses that Corona most often ‘hits’. Fortunately, the pandemic did not harm your company. Does this mean that the taste and smell of good coffee is stronger than the virus?

If we look at things that way, they seem to be stronger. Joking aside, every industry has faced a crisis, which decision-makers around the world have tried to tackle and overcome in the best possible way. We managed to compensate for the decline in sales in HoReCa by increasing household consumption. People wanted to bring the atmosphere of socializing into their homes.

They turned to each other, enjoyed their conversations, found new ways of getting closer, and that is what is most important in the end. Our campaign ‘Let’s take the time’ was aimed at connecting with our loved ones in a ritual that unites us all – the ritual of drinking coffee. Coffee may not be stronger than the virus, but it has done something really great in building and nurturing those wonderful moments with loved ones. And that is the most important thing – to show emotions, love, humanity, always and in all circumstances.


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