The entry of capsule coffee machines to the market, as well as them being sold in supermarkets, has changed the way consumers think about the value of all coffee machines. This shift in the customers’ mind is making it trickier than before to sell more expensive fully automated coffee makers, says Erik van Houten, senior marketing manager of kitchen Appliances for Philips Saeco.

The main message for retailers is to highlight the benefits of a fully automated coffee machine to reassure a consumer it is worth the extra value, van Houten says. They offer the best quality coffee for the home and greater control of the type of beverages and beans used in the machine, he added.

For example the Saeco Gran Baristo, which launched for Mother’s Day 2014, (RRP of $2,299) has been specially adapted to the Australian market with the addition of a Flat White setting. It also has a bean switcher — a bean compartment that can be directly taken out of the machine and stored — making it easier to switch between different types of beans.

According to GfK data the average selling price of fully automatic coffee machines in 2013 was $1,1benefits’47, down 6 per cent from 2012.

Van Houten says that generally people looking to buy an automatic coffee machine will take six to nine months to make a decision and they do a lot of research, normally online, making product reviews extremely important for a brand.

Well-researched consumers also mean retailers need to feel comfortable with the product they are selling. Van Houten says it’s important for retailers to demonstrate the machine’s features and, importantly, let them taste the coffee.

Capsule coffee machines have also had an impact on the design of automatic coffee machines, van Houten said. Since the growth in popularity of capsule systems, fully automatic manual coffee machines have become sleeker and with a smaller footprint.

The Saeco Gran Barista (RRP $
The Saeco Gran Barista, RRP $2,299