Interview with Christos Alevizos, Business Executive Officer (GM), Loumidis Papagalos, Greece

Interview with Christos Alevizos, Business Executive Officer (GM), Loumidis Papagalos, Greece


Greek coffee, deeply embedded in the country’s heritage for generations, has been epitomized by Papagalos Loumidis since its inception in the 1920s, renowned for its rich, classic roast and captivating aroma, making it synonymous with the essence of Greek coffee. To begin, could you provide insights into the current landscape of the Greek coffee market and how Papagalos Loumidis maintains its position within it?

For over a century, Loumidis Papagalos has proudly offered its consumers the unique taste and distinctive aroma that has made it synonymous with Greek coffee. Consistently delivering products that meet our consumers’ continuously evolving needs is not an easy task, especially considering the dynamics of the Greek coffee market today. Greek coffee is a traditional category that competes with new emerging trends, specialty coffees, seasonal trends, elevated coffee experiences and innovation around sustainability. We are proud to have initiatives that meet those new trends in fascinating ways, ensuring that Loumidis Papagalos will remain a market leader in the future.

Local production at our Oinofyta factory is the cornerstone of our strategy. With more than €30 million in investment over the last 10 years, the development line of Loumidis Papagalos coffee products is achieving new heights in innovation. “Loumidis Papagalos Ekastos Monopoikiliakos” is the first premium proposition of Loumidis Papagalos Greek coffee and an example of innovation in the Greek coffee market. Carefully selected, a specific single estate variety with a unique coffee taste profile that is appreciated by consumers far beyond the Greek coffee category, elevates the bar to a whole new level.

Innovation for such a product is not limited to the product itself. This is crucial to the introduction of Greek coffee to new consumers searching for something more than just tradition. We launched a new campaign, bringing to life this brand-new premium proposition in an innovative way for the Greek coffee market, creating a buzz among consumers by presenting a new, iconic accessory. A new modern and up-to-date cup, specifically purposed to elevate Greek coffee consumption itself.

“Eortastiko Harmani” was introduced by Loumidis Papagalos during the Christmas season of last year. This Seasonal coffee offering was a great success across the board.  It was the first time that a limited-edition Christmas blend was introduced to consumers of Greek coffee, accompanied by a TV announcement and impressive in-store theatrical POP materials, bringing new-found excitement to a traditional coffee category.

Sustainability couldn’t be absent from our Loumidis Papagalos “green” product, as the color of our packaging indicates. As a matter of fact, Loumidis Papagalos traditional, the product of our range with the green color, is the highest rotating SKU in Greece across FMCGs.

Delighted with being the continued choice of our consumers, we are celebrating our first century. Moving forward, we have refreshed our logo and packaging to have a timeless brand that will last the next hundred years. We have always been innovative in our packaging; we are working to be the first in the Greek coffee market to have its packaging designed to be recycled, in alignment with Nestle’s commitment to designing 100% of our plastic packaging for recycling.


In 1987, Nestlé welcomed Greek coffee “Loumidis Papagalos” to its family, initiating a new chapter in the story of Greek coffee. Could you elaborate on Nestle Hellas SA’s role in manufacturing, promoting, advertising, and selling/exporting Papagalos Loumidis globally? What is the relationship with the brand?

Loumidis Papagalos is one of the biggest coffee brands in Greece and a jewel of Nestle Hellas. Since Loumidis Papagalos coffee joined the Nestle family, we have been obsessed with delivering the highest quality cup of Greek coffee. Quality is in the DNA of the brand’s success.

We have continually invested in our factory process, from bean to cup. This includes movement of green coffee warehousing to the factory premises itself, where we can fully control the specific conditions for coffee bean storage, ensuring excellent coffee quality.

The Journey of the bean then continues through roasting and grinding. Major investments enabled the updating of the grinders in Inofyta factory and the implementation of one of the best roasters across Nestle factories, providing one of the best roasting capabilities Nestlé has globally.

Just before the cup, comes the packaging. We were the first to introduce four sealed packaging to the Greek coffee market and we continue to apply our innovative vision to the production of flexy packaging designed for recycling.

One of the greatest elements of our success has been innovation, addressing consumer needs over the years. We have led the trend of long cup consumption in Greek coffee with relevant innovation. “Loumidis Papagalos Koupatos” is a product that has introduced single or double-cup consumers to a larger mug quantity of beverage with youthful, relevant communication, refreshing the image of the category itself. We are proud to offer a decaf option with a recently redeveloped recipe that consumers with caffeine intake issues can enjoy without compromises to the unique Loumidis Papagalos flavor. Through creating these recent innovations of a limited-edition Christmas blend and the first premium Loumidis Papagalos blend, just the beginning of a rich assortment of products to follow, the aspiration of the brand is to lead the way to the future.

Another important element has been our devotion to brand building. Loumidis Papagalos is one of the most powerful lovebrands in Greece, the result of combining pure love and strategic work throughout the years. With the anchor the vision of the brand, there has been passion or meraki, as we call it in Greece, to each touchpoint of the brand.

This starts with our logo of the iconic parrot that is synonymous to the brand and has been recently refreshed with great acceptance by consumers. The iconic parrot on Loumidis Papagalos packaging was chosen back in 1923. This might seem an unexpected choice for coffee. However, these are the only birds that love to eat coffee beans.

Packaging artwork was also transformed with a timeless new form, keeping the well-known green color heritage that stands out on the shelf across all coffee products. Theatrical POP constructions bring excitement to consumers’ journey, providing space for the brand to create wow effect. Above the line communication has introduced for decades now the Loumidis Papagalos café communication platform, where fun and emotional stories of everyday people have showcased how Loumidis Papagalos creates room for what really matters in life, especially when generations are connected. It is a brand with over a century of history now that keeps writing new stories close to the hearts of our consumers and we are truly thankful for this.


Cimate change is jeopardizing coffee-growing regions, expected to render some unsuitable by 2050. How does Papagalos Loumidis navigate this challenge and implement sustainability initiatives throughout its supply chain, from sourcing beans to packaging, to minimize its environmental footprint?

Climate change is real, and we need to act now. We need on one hand to adapt to the new reality, leading sustainability in food production and coffee, in particular.

Coffee is one of the many products affected by climate change. In 2020 for example, there was a big frost in Brazil, the biggest producer of coffee in the world, which led to scarcity of supply and a spike in prices. We used to observe such events once every 10 years in the past, but now it seems that they are becoming the norm.

There are different axes we are working on. On one hand, we ensure the highest possible quality standards from the moment we source the coffee beans until the final product. Continuous quality checks across the value chain, from green bean at the farm, during transportation, storage and obviously production aim to ensure that every cup of Loumidis delivers the same and iconic flavor and taste every time.

Our factory in Oinofyta produces our Loumidis Papagalos products supporting non-stop on shelf availability, so our consumers can consistently be ºdelighted by a great quality cup of Greek coffee. This is where we strictly follow our sustainability roadmap of specific commitments like, for example, Net Zero by 2050. We use electricity from 100% renewable sources and as of 2023 we have activated a photovoltaic park at the factory premises with the aim of further utilizing alternative energy sources.

However, our commitment to sustainability extends beyond these facilities, beyond the borders of the Greek market, to the raw materials we use, from production to their transportation. We have an extensive plan to contribute to a more sustainable coffee cultivation: the NESCAFÉ 2030 Plan. As part of Nestle, we are working with Nescafe coffee producers to help them transition to regenerative agriculture by accelerating beyond the ten years of work already done in this field.

Through the Nescafe 2030 Plan, which focuses on 7 coffee producing countries, we aim to responsibly source 100% of our coffee by 2025 and to source 50% of coffee from regenerative agricultural methods by 2030. It is important to note that regenerative agriculture contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. At Loumidis Papagalos Greek coffee our commitment extends to ensuring the 100% responsible supply of its raw materials. The coffee fruits are grown with specific agricultural practices, their production method absolutely controlled and certifiable, while their cultivation does not burden the environment or the society of which it is part.


In what ways does Papagalos Loumidis drive innovation in its coffee offerings, and what recent product innovations or developments have contributed to the brand’s success in the market?

Loumidis is a love-brand with a strong heritage and rich history, and we have a vision for the future in which Loumidis will continue being an emblematic and innovative coffee brand.

Recently we have launched a premium single-estate 100% Arabica coffee: Loumidis Papagalos Ekastos. This was an innovative product, building on coffee sophistication and the premiumization of Greek coffee, maintaining relativity in today’s coffee reality. It is an initiative that aspires to create a brand-new premium segment for Greek coffee that will be attractive to consumers that appreciate authenticity but who are currently searching for premium coffee offerings. The Loumidis Papagalos Ekastos innovative range will safeguard the major role that Greek coffee will continue to play in the micro-roasteries and elevated coffee experiences that are blooming among the Greek coffee adoring audience.

Part of our innovation strategy is also to bring to life product offerings geared towards the evolving healthy-ageing needs of our consumers in Greece and beyond. We are doing some very interesting work in that direction, so stay tuned.


I noticed in Greece that it is very trendy to have flavored coffees like hazelnut, for example. Are you doing that?

Great question. Loumidis pioneered flavored Greek coffee more than 15 years ago with unique flavours. However, the market was not fully ready back then. Flavored coffee could definitely be an interesting direction for Loumidis coffee, and we might well offer it again in the future.


In the late 1980s, alongside its presence in numerous other markets, Papagalos Loumidis made its debut in the United States market through Loumidis Foods Inc., driven by a vision to introduce authentic Greek flavors to the American palate. Could you delve a bit further into how Papagalos Loumidis has strategically navigated its expansion into the United States market, overcoming challenges and establishing a significant presence over there?

The export business is very interesting to us, especially for our brands like Loumidis coffee. For Greeks abroad a sip of Loumidis coffee is a sip of Greece and we have the responsibility to have Loumidis coffee available to all Greek communities abroad.

We have a trusted partner on that front in Loumidis Foods. Loumidis coffee is exported to more than 18 countries worldwide: the US, Australia and Germany being among them.

When it comes to our expansion plans, we have a growth ambition of around 10% for 2024 and beyond. Key to that is developing distribution to the shops where your audience goes. Premium grocery stores targeting Greek communities will be the priority.


What is your approach when it comes to partnerships and how are you working to develop further engagements and create synergies within the coffee industry?

When we build partnerships, it is always on respect and mutual understanding. That is part of our DNA. For example, our partnership with “Staramaki”, a Social Enterprise in Kilkis, an area in the northern part of Greece with extensive wheat production. “Staramaki” takes the stems of the wheat and turns them into wheat straws, suitable for cold coffee, an environmentally friendly solution that follows the principles of circular economy. This is one of the main reasons we work with “Staramaki”, as we share the same vision regarding sustainability and a waste free future. We support them by providing them tools and equipment so that they can further increase their production capacity. We believe in their idea, which is in line with the European law outlawing the use of single use plastic straws.

We also participate in the Hellenic Coffee Association, where I serve as a Vice Chair. The Hellenic Coffee Association represents the Coffee Industry and participates in the expression of positions, consultation, and implementation of a regulatory framework for the coffee sector in Greece and Europe. It promotes the sector’s position on institutional and other issues, such as taxes and duties, combating smuggling and illegal trade, food safety, labeling and environmental issues.

We are in very frequent contact with the authorities and government bodies on various subjects and we have a great understanding of the issues of the coffee industry in Greece.


Given your extensive experience in the global coffee industry, how do you see the future for the growth and success of the Papagalos Loumidis brand in the future? What is your vision for the company?

It is both an amazing pleasure working with Loumidis Papagalos and also a very big responsibility.  We want to make sure that this emblematic Greek brand will continue to grow and innovate, building on its longstanding history and Greek coffee heritage. Addressing evolving consumer needs at the highest quality standards, with the right value proposition while having a positive impact in society and the environment is at the core of what we do. We are putting a lot of love and passion behind Loumidis.

What is your final message to the readers of USA Today?

Greece is well known for its nice beaches, amazing food and hospitality but we are also very proud of our coffee in Greece. We have invented and introduced cold coffee to the world and we produce amazing Greek coffee, As such, I would invite you all to come over and try the food, swim at the beaches, and enjoy a delicious cup of Greek coffee.