You might think that Chinese people are only used to drinking tea, but the middle class is growing. It’s exactly this segment that is who is curious about western goods, including Coffee. You don’t have to like it, but if you hold a cup of coffee with the Starbucks logo, you feel more sophisticated. Starbucks has become a kind of status symbol in China, where a smallest Frappucino sells for about 5 USD.
According to Investorsplace.com, it’s therefore not a surprise that the successful coffee chain has announced the news that they are aiming for over a 1000 stores in 2013 in the Middle kingdom.
One of the main reasons for Starbucks’ success, is the fact that Chinese tea companies haven’t been able to come up with a successful tea chain that gives the busy middle class the convenience of consistent quality. It’s very similar to how the American Pizza Hut has successfully entered the Chinese market, while the average Italian restaurants stay a small scale family business. Traditional tea houses risk the danger of being regarded as places for the elderly to spend time chatting and playing cards.
Starbucks is not only the foreign player in China. Costa an UK coffee firm is quite aggressive, opening many new stores close to Starbucks. It entered the Chinese market in 2006 aiming to open 2500 stores in total in 2015. More challengers will definitely follow.