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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