Costa eyes 900 high-tech coffee machines in MidEast

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UK coffee giant Costa hopes to install between 800 and 900 of its new, high-tech vending machines in the next three years, a senior executive told Arabian Business.

The Marlow 200, which boasts a 27 inch touch screen and vends 250 variety of coffees, was unveiled at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 this week, where the first two  units in the world have been installed.

The machines feature technology from Microsoft and Intel and are designed to replicate the authentic cafe experience, going so far as to even emanate the sounds and smells of the real thing.

Scott Martin, CEO of Costa Express, said that he expects the Marlow 200 to be popular in settings  such as airports, offices and petrol stations.

“We’ve always deliberately avoided the word vending, because it means it’s rubbish, it’s poor quality, it’s cheap,” he told Arabian Business. “To succeed in new markets you have to surprise consumers, and when we talk about this ‘five senses’ experience, it’s about surprising them.”

The Marlow 200, which has been designed by Italy’s Pininfara, also uses state-of-the-art acoustics technology from eMixpro, which has mixed records from pop groups including U2 and The Killers.

The vending machines are rented either on a pay-per-month or profit sharing basis.

In association with Emirates Leisure Retail, Costa Coffee will continue to expand in the Gulf State and plans to open their 100th store this year.

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