How Starbucks Struggled and Kick Started China’s Coffee Drinking Market


STEVEN: Was there a big market at the time for coffee?

CHRIS: No, It was really not people at that time 2005-2006 even though Starbucks. It really has been doing it for eight or nine years. They had like you said they struggled, everyone was still saying China's a tea nation people are, coffee they don't like. It's not them that they drink tea, but then when you actually saw what the young younger consumers did like they weren't drinking tea in the first place are drinking Coca-Cola. other products. But, like you see the one or two more that time there were a handful of Starbucks in Shanghai, but not a lot.

The line was out the door. You know, something's not lining up now Starbucks hasn't figured out how to do that at scale. But it was clear that they really hit something in China and it really was never. Not even to this day. I still don't think it's about the consumer tastes like that. I don't think the Chinese love coffee like


CHRIS: Is the experience behind it? It's about a half. At first, it was more than Western experience. Now, I think it's just the modern experience.


CHRIS: One of the big things was, I think Starbucks captured this later it kind of fell into this. They built bigger stores. It was more like sitting in the living room for the Chinese consumer work. Apartment dwelling in living in skyscrapers. You couldn't really just have people over as easily and so the coffee shop and really Starbucks was the best that this was really an extension of that living room where they could have a business meeting that could meet friends.

Something that they could do outside of what really didn't work either at a bar karaoke or at a restaurant it was not as easy to do that as it was to really do that at the coffee shop.

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