Exclusive by Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: The Astral Bar at Star City was the setting last night for the trade launch of Nespresso by De’Longhi’s three new Citiz machines. Staff and management from a number of retail groups were present to admire the view, taste the coffee and enjoy a drink.

The congregation on the 17th floor of the casino complex included floor staff and store managers from The Good Guys, Bing Lee, Clive Peeters, David Jones, Myer, Clive Anthony’s and Harvey Norman. In a refreshing change from the usual mix of executives and middle management, most of the attendees from these groups were on-the-ground salespeople. For them, it was a chance to enjoy a night out as thanks for the work they’d done to make Nespresso and De’Longhi coffee machines so successful.

The canapés served included garlic roasted prawns, exploding goat’s cheese croquettes and tandoori chicken pies. Kudos to the bar for providing a selection of beers: Stella Artois, Pure Blonde and Cascade Light. The chaser for these refreshments was an espresso from one of the six functional machines on display.

The new Nespresso Citiz by De’Longhi range includes three models, each in black and white. The Citiz (RRP $369) is designed to have the smallest footprint possible from a fully featured machine. The Citiz & Milk (RRP $499) incorporates the popular Aeroccino device for milk frothing. Last is the Citiz & Co (RRP $699), which has a double head for a shared coffee experience.

De’Longhi senior marketing manager Jason Haskins was very happy with the response from retailers.

“It was an excellent turnout last night from our retail partners, and a great night was had by all,” said De’Longhi senior marketing manager Jason Haskins.

“We’re very excited about the innovation and chic retro design of the new Nespresso Citiz range from De’Longhi. The new Citiz range will no doubt contribute to the continued growth of the closed portioned coffee category.

“Just as the Nespresso Essenza by De’Longhi was the number one selling machine in the coffee category late last year and this year, we are confident the new Citiz range will continue to impress retailers and consumers alike. Just as De’Longhi Australia raised the entire coffee machine category with ‘Just One Finger’ innovation, we will continue to add value in partnership with Nespresso.”

Nespresso commercial manager ANZ, George Garrop spoke briefly about how happy he was to be introducing three new innovative models to the Nespresso by De’Longhi range, and how he grateful he was to the salespeople at retail level for their hard work. He also announced that Nespresso and De’Longhi would be continuing to support the retailers, with brand advocate George Clooney being retained and a significant print and television advertising campaign planned for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas.

The very pleasant evening wound down around 10 pm, at which point some guests disappeared into the night, some into one of the Star City bars, and one journalist managed to double his money playing a few hands of blackjack.