This is not to say that the instant coffee market in Russia is experiencing some difficulties with saturation. However, you should not even think that entering it is impossible.
The fact is that instant coffee refers to such products, the market of which will never even be completely filled, and not that it is oversaturated. Just remember the brands of instant coffee that have appeared, for example, over the past 10 years.
There are a lot of them, and large manufacturers entered the market with these brands, who were not afraid to invest a lot of money on the production and promotion of their goods, although if the sales had choked, this would have threatened them with millions of losses and, ultimately, ruin.
But do not think that these brands "left" only in expensive advertising campaigns. Every producer of instant coffee, even very small local companies, easily gets into the regional, and then, possibly, Russian market due to the fact that instant coffee is a product that should be sensitive to the slightest changes in the consumer trend and consumer preferences.
At the beginning of the year, there may be a fashion for cappuccino, in the middle - for “slimming” coffee, and at the end - for classic, and it is small and medium-sized producers who get the maximum profit from such micro-changes, while large, as a rule suffer from some overproduction.
Therefore, instant coffee has every chance of becoming a product whose production is not only cost-effective, but also will bring significant profits, if properly furnished, especially since the equipment for production is not cheap and can be used not only for processing coffee beans into granules.
Instant Coffee Production: Technology
The technique of making instant coffee is quite simple and does not require too sophisticated high-tech equipment. For ease of understanding, a few words should be said about the varieties of instant coffee and describe the main stages of its preparation.
Instant coffee is essentially a natural extract. There are three varieties of instant coffee that differ in type and method of production: powder (spray), granular (agglomerate) and sublimated (it is also called freeze dried by technology).
Powdered coffee is the cheapest in terms of production. This variety is made from granulated to small (about 1 mm) coffee beans.
Raw coffee beans are cleaned and roasted, and then soluble substances are extracted with hot water under pressure.
For this, coffee powder obtained from beans is treated for 3-4 hours with hot water (actually brewed) under a pressure of about 15 physical (technical) atmospheres, or bar, which is 15 kg per square meter. cm or 1100 mm Hg - almost one and a half times higher than normal.
After cooling, the obtained extract is filtered, insoluble (resinous, etc.) substances are removed and dried with hot air. The resulting powder mass is cooled. Such coffee is cheap, but also low-cost in production - its cost, as a rule, is several times lower than the selling price.
The next highest quality is agglomerated instant coffee, or granulated coffee. This species is perhaps the most common on the Russian market. Its production is no different from the production of powder coffee, except for an additional phase of agglomeration, when the powder is knocked into granules with steam.
Of course, the granulated coffee production line differs from the powder coffee line in the direction of increasing the number of units. Of course, the production of agglomerated instant coffee is somewhat more expensive, however, the selling price for it is higher.
The most high-quality and expensive is considered sublimated instant coffee ("freeze-ride"). The fact is that the intense pressure used in the first and second method of production changes the molecular structure of the grain and has a harmful effect on the aroma and taste of coffee, and the production of freeze-dried coffee does not contain this procedure.
This is the newest instant coffee production method. It is the most expensive, but allows you to maximally preserve all the original properties of natural coffee. The essence of its production is that the coffee broth is frozen at very low temperatures. As a result, ice crystals form. These crystals are dehydrated under vacuum. Then, the resulting dehydrated mass is broken, and as a result, crystals of an irregular shape are obtained.
Actually, this is the freeze-ride technology. Such coffee is the most expensive in production and at a selling price, but due to the fact that sublimation allows you to get high quality products that are close to fresh in terms of organoleptic characteristics, the demand for it is constantly growing.
The Russian coffee market is valued at $ 1 billion and this figure is constantly increasing, which is not surprising - because, according to experts, even a price increase of around 20% per year will not cause serious changes in demand.
According to the Organization of Coffee Manufacturers in Russia, the share of instant coffee in total sales is 46%, natural (in beans and ground) - 18%, coffee ersatz mixes - 36%, and the category of freeze dried coffee is growing most dynamically - by 10% faster than all other coffee categories.
Instant Coffee Making Equipment
In this case, it makes no sense to consider the production of powder coffee: the lines for its production are practically not produced, by itself it is outdated and has a clear tendency to decrease.
The only way to consider the technology for the production of powder coffee is as a concomitant to any similar food - for example, the same production of ground coffee - provided that substandard goods are used to produce coffee powder.
The complete list of equipment for the production of granulated instant coffee is quite large: these are bins (containers) for raw materials and semi-finished products, and various scales, and vibration separators and coolers, vibrating screens, conveyors and elevators, granulators, pumps, roasting beans, and many others appliances.
United together, they form a coffee production line with a total value of about 110 million rubles.
Equipment using freeze dried technology ranges from $ 15 million to $ 40 million, if you start it from scratch.
If there are corresponding production facilities and other infrastructure, the production of freeze-dried coffee will cost much cheaper - only about $ 3.5 million.
In favor of choosing this option, it says that if the annual volume of instant coffee consumption in Russia is 23, 800 tons, and the volume of high-quality freeze-dried instant coffee is 4, 000 tons and has a tendency to increase, indicated above, provided that this type of coffee in Russia is still is not produced (at least on a significant scale), then the beginner of the coffee business with this product has a very high chance of becoming at least a regional monopolist.
With the capacity of both of the above lines at about 480-500 tons per year of the finished product, the choice is obvious.
The profitability of freeze-dried coffee, of course, is slightly lower (taking into account the payback of equipment) than granulated coffee - up to 20%. However, upon reaching the breakeven point (i.e., full recovery of investment), which occurs after about 2.5 years, it will increase.
In addition, as mentioned above, instant coffee, especially of such high quality as sublimated, can withstand a significant increase in prices without changing demand. If it succeeds in occupying a monopoly position, then the payback will become even higher - the price of locally produced coffee will in any case be lower than the imported one.
Prospects for the development of the instant coffee business
The most interesting and quickly recouping prospect will be the opening of a network of inexpensive and small (3-4 tables) café-snack bars, which will not only create an additional (and considerable) sales sector, but will also help to promote the product: many will want to drink coffee at home “as in Cafe".
In addition, it is possible to organize mobile points (on cars equipped with appropriate equipment) hot (in the cold season) and cold (respectively, in the warm season) coffee.
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See also: your natural coffee business
Instant coffee production video