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China Emerges as a Top Force in the Global Coffee Industry

    In recent years, China has emerged as a dominant force in the global coffee industry, overcoming various economic challenges. A comprehensive study conducted by the World Coffee Portal reveals that China has surpassed the United States to claim the title of the largest market for branded coffee shops in the world, measured by the number of outlets.

    Despite facing economic hurdles, China’s coffee market has thrived, with Starbucks experiencing significant growth in the country. China stands out as the second-largest and leading overseas market for Starbucks globally, playing a pivotal role in the company’s overall expansion strategy. During the specified period, Starbucks successfully opened 785 outlets in China, solidifying its position as the second-largest branded coffee operator in terms of outlets, according to the findings of the World Coffee Portal.

    • Project Café East Asia 2024 shows the total East Asian branded coffee shop market grew 24% in terms of outlets over the last 12 months to reach 119,221 stores, with China representing nearly 42% of the total market 
    • 17 out of the largest 18 East Asian markets achieved net outlet growth over the past 12 months, with seven markets experiencing double-digit store growth 
    • Eighty-five percent of the 645 branded coffee chains currently in operation across East Asia originate in the region with 95 operators from outside the continent 
    • 72% of East Asian industry leaders surveyed report increased sales over the last 12 months, with the same percentage believing trading conditions will further improve next year 

    Luckin Coffee, a Chinese startup that faced a notorious fraud scandal leading to its delisting from Wall Street three years ago, has emerged as the foremost coffee chain in China. Despite its tumultuous history, Luckin Coffee boasts an extensive network of over 13,000 outlets, underscoring its dominance in the Chinese coffee market. This unexpected success positions Luckin Coffee as a major player, contributing to China’s remarkable ascent in the global coffee industry landscape.

    East Asian branded coffee shop market | Photo credit: © World Coffee Portal