Five Questions with BODUM
Known for its iconic French presses and sleek and simple Nordic design, Danish tableware and kitchenware company BODUM has become a household name for coffee aficionados the world over. What started out as a local Copenhagen-based firm in 1944 has now turned into a global housewares brand found in more than 55 countries.
So, we wondered, how is BODUM faring in coffee-crazed New York?
To get to the bottom of that question and celebrate the brand’s 75 years of existence, Denmark In New York caught up with Bodum’s Global Event and Project Manager Daniel Kvist for a chat about the BODUM brand, its success in the United States, and the differences between coffee lovers in Denmark and New York — two places where everyone seems to run on a cup of joe.
Now, brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee, sit back and read on!
Denmark In New York: Tell us a little but about BODUM — its history and how long it has been in New York and the US.
Daniel Kvist: BODUM’s history dates back to 1944 when Peter Bodum launched the company in Copenhagen, Denmark. Renowned for its iconic French Press coffeemaker and signature Scandinavian design aesthetic, BODUM has grown into a global housewares brand, with distribution in more than 55 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, the company continues to develop all products in-house under its core principle that good design should be both functional and affordable. BODUM has been in the US (and New York) since 1983.
Everyone knows New York runs on coffee. And everyone also knows Danes love their brew. How does BODUM bring together the Danish passion for design and coffee with the New Yorker’s need for a good cup of joe?
At BODUM we strive to provide sustainable and eco-friendly products that will last a lifetime. New Yorkers are always moving, but that doesn’t mean they are easy to please. Today, it’s our perception that New Yorkers don’t have time to settle for mediocre coffee. They demand instant gratification. That’s why we create simple, yet highly functional coffee-makers, such as the French Press and the French Press Travel Mug for those who are really in a hurry. An easy 4-step guide is all it takes for New Yorkers to brew deliciously fresh coffee, and they do so in original Scandinavian design that people all over the US — including New York — have come to love.
What are some of the differences that you have encountered between Danish customers and US customers?
Americans, especially New Yorkers, tend to be more aware of what they want, but also what they don’t want. Danes are easy to please. Denmark is also known as one of the countries in the world that consumes the most coffee, which sometimes isn’t a good thing. They seem to be okay with that $1 cup of coffee from the local bodega, whereas Americans don’t mind paying a premium (some places up to $18 per cup of coffee) to get their caffeine fix. Americans also love accessories. BODUM’s designs and colors have become “bolder” meaning that we still create simple products, but with an emphasis on creating attention around the product itself, such as the ePEBO, our electric vacuum coffee-maker. If you see the original stainless steel French Press, we want you to think “BODUM.” Americans are good at connecting the dots between design and color and spot the difference between our products and similar ones.
BODUM recently provided Denmark In New York with travel mugs to help ensure our coffee runs remain sustainable through and through. What is BODUM’s most successful product here in New York and the US?
BODUM’s no. 1 best-seller item in the US — and worldwide — is without hesitation the Original French Press 8-cup (34oz/1L). BODUM has produced and sold more than 100 million French Presses since 1974. The French Press however, is not the only item that has done well. We have produced and sold more than 30 million teapots worldwide — specifically the ASSAM has proven to be a beloved household item by many tea drinkers.
What is the best thing about working in New York?
The best thing about working in New York is the fact that you meet so many different people. If you live and work in New York, your co-workers are likely to come from all over the country, as well as other countries. The level of exposure you encounter is so diverse that you learn a lot about yourself, but most importantly about other countries and cultures. I’ve learned to be more true to myself, and more accepting of how different we are as human beings. Having the privilege of learning something new every day is the best thing New York has to offer.
Ema Seferovic is the Press and Communications Intern at DenmarkInNY.