Trung Nguyên is a Vietnamese business group involved in the production, processing and distribution of coffee. Trung Nguyên is the largest domestic coffee brand within Vietnam, and exports its products to more than 60 countries, including major Asian markets such as Japan and Singapore.
The group, established in 1996 in Buôn Ma Thuột, Đắk Lắk Province, is composed of six members: Trung Nguyen Corporation JSC, Trung Nguyen Instant Coffee Company JSC, Trung Nguyen Coffee LLC, G7 Commercial Services Company, Đặng Lê Tourism Company JSC, Trung Nguyên Franchising Company JSC and G7 Ministop Joint Venture Company. Its chairman and CEO is Đặng Lê Nguyên Vũ, who is regarded as Vietnam's Coffee King.
- 1996: Đặng Lê Nguyên Vũ founded Trung Nguyên in Buôn Ma Thuột city – Vietnam’s coffee capital.
- 1998: Opened the first coffee shop in Hồ Chí Minh city.
- 2001: Being presented at all domestic provinces, successfully franchising in Japan, Thailand, Cambodia...
- 2003: Launched G7 instant coffee.
- 2006: Developing G7 Mart, being selected to serve at APEC 2006, starting “Coffee sanctuary” project in Buôn Ma Thuột.
- 2008: Established office in Singapore.
- 2010: Trung Nguyên coffee products were exported to over 60 countries around the world, especially the U.S, Canada, Russia, England, Germany, Japan, China, ASEAN, etc.
- 2012: Trung Nguyên Coffee was the favourite coffee brand in Việt Nam.
- Legendee simulated kopi luwak coffee
- Fresh coffee
- G7 instant coffee: G7 3in1, G7 2in1, G7 Strong X2, Pure Black, Cappuccino, Passiona, White Coffee.
- Roasted and ground coffee: Filter Coffee (1,2,3,4,5), Creative Coffee (1,2,3,4,5,8), Espresso, Blend (I, S, N, Premium Blend, Gourmet Blend, House Blend).
- Bean coffee
- Trung Nguyên coffee products use a variety of different coffee beans, including Robusta, Arabica, and Excelsa.
Weasel and Legendee coffee
Trung Nguyên is known as an important producer and distributor of kopi luwak (Vietnamese: cà phê chồn), weasel coffee Trung Nguyen, also known as civet coffee, both natural and simulated. Kopi luwak, widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world, is coffee made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) and other related civets, then passed through its digestive tract. After gathering, thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting, and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness. Trung Nguyên's Legendee brand coffee is a simulated kopi luwak product, which uses synthetic enzymes to mimic the civet's gastric acid, producing effects on flavour similar to actual kopi luwak, and reducing the need to rely on the civet, which is now endangered in Vietnam due to excessive hunting. In August 2010, Trung Nguyên CEO Dang Le Nguyen Vu reported that the company had begun manually producing its own natural (non-simulated) kopi luwak under its Weasel sub-brand. Due to the complicated production process, only 40–50 kg of Weasel coffee are produced annually. It is much more expensive than any of the company's other products: a 1 kg bag of Weasel coffee costs $3,000, six times higher than Indonesian kopi luwak. Dang has claimed, however, that Trung Nguyên's Vietnamese version is of higher quality, since production depends on wild or free range civets who choose the best coffee beans themselves, instead of being caged and force-fed.
Production and facilities
Currently, Trung Nguyen owns the system of four factories:
- Bắc Giang Instant Coffee Factory
- Buôn Ma Thuột Roasted and Ground Coffee Factory
- Trung Nguyên - Saigon Coffee Factory
- Bình Dương Instant Coffee Factory
Along with producing and processing coffee beans, Trung Nguyên operates a nationwide chain of over 1,000 coffee shops in Vietnam to distribute its products, the first of which opened in October 1998 in Ho Chi Minh City. The first coffeehouse in Hanoi opened in the year 2000, by which time 100 outlets had already been established. Throughout the following years, franchises were opened in Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and China. The first outlets outside of Asia opened in Germany and New York City in the year 2006. The company's future plans include the further development of its international presence in China, the United States and Europe.
Product distribution in Australia is unclear, due to a dispute between Trung Nguyên and Australian distribution company Dynamic Food Brokers, owner of the domain name trungnguyen.com.au, which claims to be a formerly authorized distributor abandoned by Trung Nguyên without notice sometime before 2008.
The Company's Asian Grocery Distributor in the USA is H L Foods in Los Angeles, CA. H L Foods does not supply what is termed "mainstream" supermarkets in the USA, the company specializes in distribution to Asian-themed groceries. The USA Online Distributor is Heirloom Coffee LLC, operating the URL http://www.Trung-Nguyen-Online.com since 2005. Authorized sales online in the UK and some continental European countries are performed by Dragon Coffee from the URL http://www.trung-nguyen-online.co.uk/ since 2008.
Trung Nguyen has won the following prizes and titles
- The prize of “The Yellow Star of the Vietnamese land in 2003” offered by The Vietnamese Young Enterprises Association.
- Elected 4 years in succession of “Top quality Vietnamese goods” by the customers (1999- 2002)
- Elected in “Top 5” of The Branch of Agricultural Products & Food in choosing “Vietnamese goods of Top quality” in 2002.
- General Director – Mr. Dang Le Nguyen Vu has won the Prize of Red Star Enterprise awarded by the Vietnamese Young Enterprise Association in 2001.
- Being the first Vietnamese Company that has applied the form of franchising trademark in domestic and overseas.
- Being the leading coffee trademark in Vietnam.
Trung Nguyen coffee growers have been certified by EUREPGAP and Utz Kapeh for "safe and sustainable" coffee growing practice.
- Coffee Leader, Trungnguyen.com.vn
- History of Trung Nguyen Corporation, Trungnguyen.com.vn
- Chairman Vu, Vietnam's Coffee King, Forbes
- Trung Nguyên Milestone, Trungnguyen.com.vn
- Trung Nguyên Stores, Trungnguyen.com.vn
- Weasel coffee, Trungnguyen.com.vn
- Weasel coffee, Trungnguyen.com.vn
- World’s priciest coffee gifted to Vietnam’s VIP guests
- "Dynamic Food Brokers: Trungnguyen.com.au". Retrieved 2010-06-08.
- "Bitter coffee row brewing following domain name spat". MoneyVietnam. 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- "Heirloom Coffee LLC: Trung-nguyen-online.com". Retrieved 2015-10-03.
- "Dragon Coffee: Trung-nguyen-online.co.uk". Retrieved 2015-10-03.