Global beverage giants build lasting confidence in China market

© Provided by Xinhua

SHANGHAI, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — With a new coffee innovation park in east China’s Jiangsu Province coming into operation, global beverage chain Starbucks has achieved a milestone new stage in its activities in China.

The park enables China to become the first market in the company’s global network to achieve large-scale “grain to cup” vertical integration. With an investment of US$220 million, it is also the coffee giant’s largest manufacturing and distribution investment outside the United States.

“As one of the world’s largest consumer markets, China presents enormous opportunities for Starbucks,” said Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, during the launch ceremony.

“The opening of this remarkable facility – a first for us globally – reinforces our long-term commitment to investing in our growth in China as well as our strategy to become a truly global company,” noted Narasimhan in a letter addressed to its partners. Tuesday.

Located in Kunshan City, about an hour’s drive from Shanghai, the park covers an area of ​​approximately 80,000 square meters and includes a roasting factory, an integrated distribution center and an immersive experience center.

Pursuing high-quality development and covering the entire industrial chain have become the two key words for foreign investors to increase capital in China’s beverage market in recent years.

In 2020, Italian coffee brand Lavazza opened its first store in Asia in Shanghai, focusing on promoting Italian culinary life. The American coffee chain Blue Bottle Coffee, which officially entered the Chinese market in 2022, has set up a roasting factory since its establishment to provide Chinese consumers with freshly roasted small-batch coffee beans from Yemen, Costa Rica. Rica and Bolivia.

After the launch of the Starbucks Innovation Park, the construction of another project by Swire Coca-Cola Ltd., a bottler of Coca-Cola drinks, will also begin soon. Before the latest project, the company had already expanded its production line in China’s Guangdong region, setting a new record for its sole investment in the Chinese mainland.

The continued investments of foreign beverage giants demonstrate their confidence in China’s economy and recognition of ever-growing market volume across the entire Chinese market, noted Zhu Danpeng, a food industry insider.

The size of China’s coffee industry increased from 165.1 billion yuan (about 23 billion US dollars) in 2021 to 200.7 billion yuan in 2022, and is expected to reach 369.3 billion yuan in 2025, with coffee becoming a daily necessity for more Chinese consumers. according to a report jointly released by domestic business data analysis company CBNData and Shanghai Jiaotong University in May.

During his previous visit to Shanghai, Narasimhan clarified that although Shanghai has become the city with the largest number of Starbucks stores in the world, there is still huge growth potential in terms of average cups of coffee purchased.

“The average person in China drinks about 12 cups of coffee a year, compared to about 200 in Japan or 380 in the United States, providing a clear lead for a growing coffee drinking culture in one of the largest markets consumption in the world,” Narasimhan noted. .

Starbucks therefore presented a bold project for its future on the Chinese market. Currently boasting a market presence of over 6,500 stores in over 250 Chinese cities, the company aims to operate 9,000 stores in 300 Chinese cities by 2025.

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