In Focus
NEW CONCEPTS | Staff Reporter, Australia

CXpresso: The new kid on the cafe block

Croissant Express introduces its younger sister.

"We are a new arrival on the cafe scene with fresh ideas and approaches, but we are starting with a solid heritage having evolved the business from our successful sister brand, Croissant Express," Neil Soares, Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Food Holdings (Croissant Express and CXpresso) told QSR Media. "We are an exciting new brand specialising in cafe style fine food and beverages with 'grab and go' or 'dine in' options."

Croissant Express is a 27-year old brand born in Perth mainly serving healthy bagels, wraps and baguettes, coffee and freshly baked croissants. Currently with more than 20 stores nationwide, the brand introduced the CXpresso format in 2014 combining the brand's existing offering with an extensive menu of hot meals in an upscale café environment.

Beacause the brand is new, he noted that CXpresso is still in a brand development phase and its approach to 'what and how' when it comes to brand offerings remains very flexible. "Where we specialise in is our unique focus on the dine in experience, offering great food that can be appreciated with friends in a comfortable environment. Ultimately we aim to be a place to meet and eat and everything we do is designed to make this experience the best possible."

The brand has opened four stores since May and despite being only a few months old, Soares noted that they already have plans to rebrand and refurbish existing stores in the near future. "We have undertaken a flexible approach to design and construction of these new stores, ensuring they are well integrated with the specifics or each locale," he explained.

He also shared that CXpresso is looking at broadening its product offerings, including limited time seasonal additions, to maximise its appeal and align with the changing tastes and preferences of its customers. And, in an effort to increase our reach into homes and offices, the brand is also currently in the process of implementing an online catering system.

In addition, the brand has partnered with frozen dessert and beverage company Frosty Boy to develop range of tailored products from its The Art of Blend beverage range, specifically for the cafe franchise. Frosty Boy's premium frappes and smoothies are being strategically implemented into the CXpresso store menus in Western Australia and south east Queensland.

"We aim to keep things fresh and surprising and make our long term plans accordingly," said Soares. "We are [always] looking for new ways to connect with our customers and are exploring new ideas such as loyalty apps and various ordering platforms with customisable options."

He add that CXpresso is still a new brand, and finding the right balances in matching offerings with its customer demographic and rapidly changing market expectations is an ongoing challenge. "Identifying exactly who this demographic encompasses, their tastes and preferences is also an important consideration so we are continually researching and reevaluating the market. Knowing our business strengths and weaknesses as we evolve the brand is integral, and we will be staying vigilant to ensure our efforts are well managed and properly directed going forward."

Meanwhile, Soares noted that the brand is on the lookout for more individuals with the right kind of friendly, hard working CXpresso qualities to open more stores in the country. Furthermore, international interest has also been expressed and the brand is pursuing avenues for eventual expansion into this domain.

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