Remote tech: Nestlé sharpens competitive edge for out-of-home coffee

By Lynda Searby

- Last updated on GMT

Nestlé Professional coffee tech: 'A company can tailor its taste profiles for different locations and consumer preferences far more easily'
Nestlé Professional coffee tech: 'A company can tailor its taste profiles for different locations and consumer preferences far more easily'

Related tags: Coffee

Nestlé has developed coffee machines with more interactive interfaces that can also be adjusted remotely, enabling better control on tailored drinks for food service.

The company’s food service business, Nestlé Professional, showcased its developments last week at an event to mark the 10th anniversary of its beverage center in Orbe, Switzerland.

The machinery advancements include automatic reordering functions, remote coffee recipe adjustment and promotions management. To achieve these, Nestlé has used wireless data transmission and reception – telemetry.  

Tim Wolfe, head of communications at Nestlé Professional, said everything from coffee strength and type could now be altered by an operator in Nestlé’s head office. Previously, such adjustments could only be made directly via the machine’s interface.

“This means that a company can tailor its taste profiles for different locations and consumer preferences far more easily. For example, consumers in New York tend to like a stronger arabica; now we can change a customer’s machine settings for them to accommodate that,​ he told BeverageDaily.

He said food service establishments could also tailor coffee types according to day-parts; automatically switching recipes for breakfast, lunch and evening trade.

Centralized, remote management

Wolfe said the remote control made centralized adjustments possible for multi-site customers. For example, if a chain wanted to introduce a new recipe, it could be rolled out instaneously across several hundred locations.

“Historically, they would have had to send a technician round all of their sites to change the settings, which would be a time consuming and expensive process.

This digital communication platform also enabled companies to use consumption or sales data to make decisions or develop promotions on site.

“We can program machines so that once coffee gets down to a certain level, an order is automatically placed for more,​Wolfe explained.

Do or die

From Nestlé’s perspective, this kind of two-way digital comunication is the key to its future success.

“We are at a cross-roads where we have to invest in connectivity and the communications around it. If we don’t, ultimately we will be out of business.

“We are already thinking about third generation coffee machines and what needs to be in there, particularly for younger consumers who don’t have any apprehension about wireless technology. We believe telemetry can allow us to offer more tailored solutions,​ said Wolfe.

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