(MENAFN- IANS) By Tanya Banon
New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANSlife) Canada's iconic coffee and baked goods brand established in 1964, Tim Hortons, opens its first outlet in India today, August 11. Known worldwide for its signature coffee, iconic beverages & delicious food, the brand has introduced a host of menu options for the Indian market, including a taste of their iconic beverages like the creamy and rich French Vanilla, the Iced Capp -- a blended frozen coffee beverage. Along with beverages prepared-to-order food and baked goods including delicious bite-sized morsels of traditional donuts called Timbits will be available. The coffee shops at Select Citywalk Mall (Saket) and DLF Cyberhub (Gurugram) will feature warm and comfortable interiors and a welcoming environment inspired by the brands Canadian origins.
Tim Hortons in India, opens part of an exclusive agreement with a joint venture entity owned by Apparel Group and Gateway Partners. AG Cafe International Management LTD, the master franchisee of the brand in India, will celebrate the opening of the chain's first two locations in Delhi NCR with a launch event inaugurated by H.E. the Canadian ambassador to India, Cameron MacKay.
'We are very excited to bring Tim Hortons to India.' said Thiago Santelmo, President RBI EMEA, parent company of Tim Hortons.
'With over 55 years of coffee heritage, Tim Hortons has captured the hearts and taste buds of Canadians, and we are confident our guests in India will love our premium quality coffee and food. Entering India shows our ongoing commitment to serving more guests around the world.'
H.E. Cameron MacKay, High Commissioner for Canada to India, said: 'Millions of Canadians have enjoyed Tim Hortons for decades – now it's time to share with India! Tim Hortons long-awaited launch here is a sign of the close relationship between Canada and India, and between Canadians and Indians. Indians can now enjoy a taste of what is an essential part of growing up in Canada, and we are incredibly proud to support their arrival.'
Canada's largest restaurant chain operating in the quick service industry, feels international expansion has become an increasing priority for the brand. Over recent years the brand has introduced its well-loved offerings to guests beyond Canada and the United States. Currently Tim Hortons has more than 5,300 restaurants across 13 countries, including the Middle East, China, the UK, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and Philippines.
'In March 2022, we announced our intent to open hundreds of stores in India over the next ten years. Today's news is the first step in that exciting commitment. Tim Hortons is not just a popular coffee chain, it's an experience. We are starting with Delhi NCR and will be opening outlets in the state of Punjab in the coming months. I would like to thank our employees and partners for their trust and dedication to making this happen,' said Navin Gurnaney, CEO of the Tim Hortons franchise in India.
Gurnaney has over 40 years of expertise in the retail, real estate, and hotel industries and has effectively increased business growth for companies in India, Europe, and the US. IANSlife spoke to Gurnaney to get more details:
How important is the Indian market for Tim Hortons?
Navin: With over five decades of expertise in coffee, Tim Hortons is a global brand from Canada with a presence in over 5,100 locations across 13 countries. The iconic coffee brand is well-known for its coffee, fresh food, baked goods and donuts. When we first opened our doors in 1964, our founder Tim Horton had the mission to create 'a place where anyone can go at any time and feel at home'.
Our entry in India is very crucial and will represent the brand's 4th country in the APAC region, which already has over 350 stores. With our launch in India, we will be building on another successful international expansion after China, Saudi Arabia and the UK. The Indian coffee market is expected to reach over $4.2 billion in size by 2025, with out-of-home consumption accounting for around 20 per cent of the market. The Indian coffee retail chain market is expected to reach the $850 million mark by 2025, hence India is an important market for Tim Hortons. We are deeply committed to investing in community growth & progress in India.
What are your launch and expansion plans, how many outlets across cities do you intend on rolling out by the end of this year?
Navin: We are extremely excited to launch in India. We will begin operations from the Capital of the country, and move further North. After the two stores in Delhi NCR, we plan to expand further in Punjab and other parts of the country. We have already identified many locations in the northern part of India out of which 10 will open by the end of December in the NCR and Punjab region. By spring next year we are planning to expand in western parts of India. Our aim is to expand our footprint to many hundred stores over the next 10 years in India, focusing on the covering the metros, Tier 1 & Tier 2 cities alike.
Are there any India specific items on the menu?
Navin: Yes, our research indicates that consumers are looking for an international beverage experience but when it comes to food, they want something which has local palette. With this insight, our food menu has healthy mix of international as well Indian palatable food offerings. Our wraps have fillings of lamb seekh and paneer tikka. One of our eclectic fusion dishes is the ravioli pasta with the popular local palate of the makhni gravy. We have vegetarian & non vegetarian options alike in our food menu, to cater to most preferences. Along with these, customers can enjoy our signature cheese melts as well as a variety of customizable sandwiches. While we cater to the global aspiration of Indians, we will also differentiate ourselves by having localized variants in our food range that will appeal to the Indian palette equally well.
In terms of pricing where do you see yourself and who is your target audience?
Navin: We are a premium brand with a balanced pricing approach. We have a wide price point range in all categories so that everyone can enjoy Tim Hortons in their own ways and needs. While our stores are open to all, we do believe that India has a lot of passionate on-the-go Gen-Z crowd and Millennials who understand our brand and have probably experienced it during their travels to other parts of the world. Since they are thought driven and need an inspirational space to bring their dreams alive, Tim Hortons will be a perfect place for them.
Your favourite product?
Navin: Well, it's really hard to choose one from so many of our iconic offerings. But, my perfect combination is a five cheese melt sandwich with a hot steaming cup of creamy and rich French Vanilla.
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