The First Starbucks Hits Vietnam

Photo: flickr/Aleksander Zykov

Photo: flickr/Aleksander Zykov

It’s not going to be easy to sell American coffee in a country that has had a strong coffee culture since the late 19th century. But Starbucks is determined to give it a shot anyway, with the first store opening in Ho Chi Minh City just a few weeks from now. President of Starbucks China and Asia Pacific John Culver told Bloomberg, “the chain will offer flavors ‘tailor-made’ to Vietnamese tastes along with its trademark drinks, while expanding ‘aggressively’ into Hanoi and other cities.”

Amid global expansion plans, the coffee chain will confront a different set of challenges in Vietnam, including the “Vietnamese love of strong coffee.” Starbucks will have to find room in a market where coffee can cost 48 cents per cup, and various global and local chains have already established themselves.¬†One business management academic says the chain will likely tap into the young Vietnamese set who can appreciate “a Western lifestyle and enjoy brand names.”

[via Bloomberg]

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