Q&A: Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA

Clay Dockery

Clay Dockery, vice president of corporate brands for Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, said that differentiation, not duplication, makes the difference in the private label industry.

In a chat with Store Brands, Dockery talks about the state of the coffee business and how retailers can benefit from building a stronger relationship with his company. 

Store Brands: Tell us about Massimo Zanetti and its history. 
Clay Dockery: Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA is a division of the Massimo Zanetti Group. We are headquartered in Treviso, Italy, and we have a worldwide footprint. In the United States, we serve the in-home coffee drinkers with brands (Chock Full O’Nuts, Hills Bros, Hills Bros Cappuccino, MJB and Kauai). We are also one of the largest private brand roasters in the United States, serving all segments of the dry coffee category. MZB also serves the away-from-home markets (café’s, hospitality, office coffee, etc.).    

SB: What products is the company currently pushing in the private label world?  
CD: Private label is no longer about duplication, but rather differentiation. We have developed strong relationships with our retail partners, and we seek to maximize their private label sales through deep analysis of trends of their shoppers. Each retailer has nuances in their portfolio that we seek to understand and develop products to help drive sales.

SB: What do retailers need to do to maximize sales from these products in terms of merchandising and marketing? 
CD: The coffee category is heavily promoted, both through frequency and deep discounting. It is always our advice to retailers to target their fair share of merchandising support and consider price shielding when brands are on sale. Social media is the new playground for marketing of brands and this can give a private brand a decided advantage given that retailers have tremendous knowledge of their shoppers and know what the motivation to purchase represents. 

SB: What's the benefit for the retailer from getting involved with your company and its assortment of products?
CD: At MZB, we have a simple proposition. We are more than a roaster. We provide great products and outstanding customer service, but most importantly we don’t consider having made a sale until a product we produce for our retail partner is on the other side of the cash register.

SB: Is there anything new coming down the line? 
CD: As consumer tastes evolve, we are ready to assist our retail partners in identification of those trends along with solutions to capture those sales. Today’s consumer no longer buys a product. They buy a story. And that story must be authentic. Treatment of all of the individuals throughout the value chain is critical as is environmentally sound packaging. Third-party certification to ensure equity back to farmers and all within the producing communities continues to see tremendous growth.