International coffee brands confidently expand in China

(People's Daily Online) 10:54, May 26, 2023

International coffee companies are seeing robust growth in China's market, with many of them planning to expand their business in the country.

Starbucks will have more than 10,000 stores in China, said its founder Howard Schultz in his speech at Peking University during a recent visit to the country.

Opening its first store in the Chinese mainland in 1999, Starbucks now owns over 6,000 stores in China. Over the past decade, the number of Starbucks stores in the Chinese mainland increased nearly tenfold.

Photo shows a Starbucks store in China. (Photo/Wu Yue)

In 2022, the American coffee chain targeted 9,000 stores in China by 2025. That increase equates to one new store opening every nine hours in three years.

Starbucks is only one example of the successful international coffee brands in China. Since the beginning of this year, monthly sales of the Costa Coffee store on Nanjing Road in Shanghai has recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Now, the UK coffee chain store has the second largest market share in the ready-to-drink coffee business in China. Costa's sales this year will be three times as much as in 2019, a new record, according to the estimates of Ouyang Qingqiu, Costa China president.

Vietnamese coffee brand Trung Nguyên Legend opened its first overseas flagship store in Shanghai last September. Covering an area of some 500 square meters, the store made over 800 cups of coffee on its first day. The brand, which sold approximately 800 million cups of coffee in China in 2021, now sees the country as a core market.

McCafé, a coffeehouse-style food and beverage chain owned by McDonald's, announced last September that it was seeking to launch 1,000 new stores in China by the end of 2023, most of which will be in third-tier cities. It will also roll out new products that cater to local tastes.

The expansion of the foreign coffee brands in China is the epitome of the rapid growth of China's coffee consumption. A report on freshly ground coffee in China released by iResearch, a provider of online audience measurement and consumer insights in China, said the country's freshly ground coffee market was valued at 87.6 billion yuan ($12.43 billion) in 2021, indicating a year-on-year growth of nearly 38.9 percent, and the market is expected to reach 190 billion yuan in 2024.

After overcoming the challenges of COVID-19, Starbucks China has greater resilience, and has firm confidence in the Chinese market in the long run, said Starbucks China president Wang Jingying.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Du Mingming)


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