Foiling Bump and Grind of Coffee Society
IT all started with a love of coffee. Sydney man Kane Bodiam, who started making coffees to get out of his mother’s restaurant kitchen and rose to be worldwide head of coffee at Australian global giant Gloria Jean’s, spotted a hole in the coffee capsule market.
With the expiry in 2011 of the patent on Nestle’s Nespresso pods, various attempts were made to get into the action, but invariably the capsules that were developed had to be used with specific machines.
“The key was to develop a capsule that didn’t require its own machine,” Mr Bodiam, 33, said. “Nestle has created an exceptionally good system and we’re just working off it.
“We wanted to look, feel and touch the same as Nespresso, but to be plastic and recyclable — so you could do it from your kerbside recycling instead of taking all your capsules to a store to be recycled, like you currently do with Nespresso aluminium ones — and that’s what we’ve done.
“We developed a new plastic with a European company which keeps air and moisture out, so we don’t have the foil overwrap all the other non-Nespresso capsules have.”
The idea was conceived in June last year, and in July his new company, Mad Coffee Capsules, ordered its first packing machine. Some $20 million dollars later, the western Sydney company, now the biggest capsule packaging operation in the southern hemisphere, can produce 710 capsules a minute with everything on target for an August 1 production date.
When a new high-speed machine arrives in January, output will grow to just under 2000 capsules a minute.
“By this time next year I believe we will be producing at a minimum 130 million capsules a year,” said Mr Bodiam, who studied engineering before getting into coffee machine design.
Adding to Mad Coffee Capsule’s commercial potential is the fact that not only does the company produce its own brand, but it can also package for other brands.
“In the last couple of days we just finalised a deal with Coca-Cola Amatil’s Grinders Coffee — they’re going ahead with five lines out of here, Republica Coffee as well,” Mr Bodiam said.
With other deals imminent, the company’s future is percolating away nicely.
“We’re looking at Southeast Asia (and) New Zealand, as these markets are hugely expanding — we haven’t even tapped into China or Singapore yet,” he said.
And for the award-winning roaster, who drinks “at least 17 capsules a day”, it ultimately comes down to sharing his love of coffee with the customer. “I love the taste of coffee … I know what I want the coffee inside to taste like,” he said.
“It’s one thing to make a coffee capsule, but to have a coffee capsule which can taste like you’re having it in a coffee shop is another thing, and that’s all we want.
“Our coffee is tailored for Australian tastes. I don’t want to see anyone drinking instant coffee any more.
“We’re not trying to take away from the cafes — we want the consumer to have a better home experience for coffee.
“We want them to understand they can buy multiple coffees from multiple brands without having to buy kilos.”