China’s coffee export triumph: top destinations and figures
Singapore has become the preferred destination for many Chinese coffee stores’ expansion due to its unique geographical location, situated at the center of Asia, plays a natural crossroads between the East and the West, providing a solid foundation for Chinese businesses looking to invest in Singapore. Besides, Singapore has a notable surge in its coffee industry and coffee consumption experienced a nearly 6% growth, reaching 95 bags between 2021 and 2022.
Similarly, coffee holds a significant place in South Korean culture, evident in the estimated 88,000 cafes, providing South Korea with one of the world’s highest densities of coffee shops per capita and making it an attractive destination for the expansion of Chinese coffee stores.
Franchise frenzy: Chinese Coffee Chains’ Southeast Asian Takeover
In 2023, the Chinese coffee chain Cotti Coffee opened its first store in Kuningan City Mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, following the launch of its outlet in Seoul, South Korea. At the beginning of 2023, Cotti Coffee announced its goal of opening 10,000 stores in three years. Remarkably, within nine short months since its first store opened, they have already launched 5,500 stores worldwide, averaging over 500 new stores per month. Their expansion strategy includes entering other Southeast Asian markets such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. With 5000+ stores across 300+ cities in 5 countries, it has become the world’s fifth-largest coffee brand.
In 2015, Mellower, a Chinese premium coffee chain, led China’s premium coffee to go international, becoming the first Chinese premium coffee chain brand to expand into overseas markets. In March 2023, Luckin Coffee expanded to Singapore with nine outlets strategically located in the core business districts, landmark buildings,, and shopping centers, including one in Changi Airport. Singapore’s vibrant coffee culture and high concentration of coffee drinkers make it an attractive market for Luckin Coffee, which is looking to capitalize on the growing demand for coffee in the region. When Luckin Coffee first entered Singapore, it received collective praise, especially among the young customer base who were willing to try new things, sparking a considerable coffee trend. Luckin Coffee not only connects with local consumers and Chinese travelers visiting Singapore but also uses this as an international gateway, offering a new coffee experience for global travelers.
Chinese coffee brands’ innovative marketing strategies
Cotti Coffee strategically positioned itself as the global sponsor for Argentina’s national football team, featuring prominent ambassadors such as Lionel Messi. The advertising campaign spans both online platforms like TikTok and offline channels, including Cotti Coffee’s stores, such as those in Japan and South Korea.
Furthermore, in December 2017, Mellower Coffee embarked on an expansion into the realm of international fashion design, partnering with the Paul Smith World Tour to delve into the international high-end consumer market and advance its global branding strategy.
New sign-ups with Luckin Coffee in Singapore will be rewarded with two valuable coupons for their purchases. These coupons grant them special privileges, including the option to purchase any in-store freshly prepared beverage for SGD 0.99 and a 50% discount on one in-store freshly prepared beverage. Luckin Coffee has curated an array of promotions and offers during Mid-autumn. Customers visiting any Luckin Coffee outlet in Singapore can indulge in a 35% discount on the Triple Taste Set (comprising 3 drinks from a selection) and the Daifuku Dream Latte Combo (which includes 1 daifuku and 1 latte drink).
Source: Instagram, luckincoffeesg promotes discounts on Instagram’s official websites
Cotti Coffee’s pricing strategy in Indonesia closely aligns with its value-focused approach in China, mirroring that of its competitor, Luckin Coffee. The beverage prices initiate at Rp 18,000 ($1.17), with the added incentive of promotional discounts for first-time customers and app-based orders. In contrast, the average beverage cost at the extensively present Starbucks, boasting over 540 stores in Indonesia, is nearly fivefold higher at Rp 40,000 ($2.50).