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“Why is Starbucks not as popular anymore?”: Trending hashtag on Chinese social media

Starbucks losing appeal in China

In recent years, China’s coffee market has rapidly grown, witnessing the emergence of several local brands challenging traditional Western coffee chains such as Starbucks. Luckin Coffee, in particular, founded in 2017, surpassed the number of Starbucks stores in China in 2019. The Xiamen-based coffee giant has now achieved another significant milestone — surpassing Starbucks as […]

The Coffee shop market in China: Blue Bottle squeezes in with Starbucks, Luckin and Manner with its Shanghai entry


Blue Bottle, a Californian-based high-end coffee chain, has made its debut in Mainland China, opening its first store in Shanghai Jing’an International Center (上海静安国际中心). The grand opening of the Auckland coffee store has attracted heaps of crowds, with customers queuing up to 7 hours outside of the two-story historic building on Chang’an Road (长安路), just […]

The 10 most epic China marketing campaigns of 2019

Most epic China marketing campaigns of 2019

Trends of the top China marketing campaigns of 2019 2019 brought creative China marketing campaigns from many industries. Our team looked at the marketing campaigns of 2019 and chose ten of the most epic to analyze. Some of the trends observed in 2019 that we expect to stay for 2020 were co-branding, social media marketing, […]

Marketing research: Coffee shops and teahouses in China

Starbucks’ continuing expansion in China As of July 2013, Starbucks owned 878 company-operated and license stores in China. This US-based coffee chain operator aims open another 700 stores by 2015. Starbucks success in a country with a strong tea culture can mainly be attributed to the company’s effort to remain localized. For example, Starbucks offers its Chinese customers Biluochun green tea and Mudan White Tea. During traditional Chinese festivals, Starbucks will promote special-edition products, such as moon cakes and glutinous rice dumplings. This localization strategy has been working well in China. Potential challenges that might slow growth Although China is a tea-drinking country, tea houses find it difficult to formalize a well-organized chain. In general, tea houses are regarded as places for the elderly to spend time chatting and playing cards. Starbucks’ real competition comes from Costa, a UK-based company, which is expanding rapidly in China. Costa’s strategy is quite aggressive: the company opens new stores close to Starbucks, or occupy the stores where Starbucks just ended the contract. It entered into China’s market in 2006 hoping to open 2500 stores in total in 2015. […]