The coffee market in constant growth: Key figures

Although the Chinese market is deeply rooted in the tea culture tradition, Chinese consumers tend to increasingly drink more and more coffee and it starts to be a part of their daily lives.

The numbers speak for themselves, the Chinese coffee market grew by 15% globally and this seems to be only the beginning…
Vietnam is the first importer country of coffee to China with more than half of the production imported.
China is tending to be more engaged globally, although China is importing most of its coffee abroad, the country is starting to be autonomous regarding the production of its own coffee. more information here.
Yunnan province accounts for 95% of coffee production in China. Traditionally Yunnan was a tea producing province.

 A new way of life

China is changing very rapidly, Chinese consumers have new needs and a new lifestyle. Chinese people tend to be more and more opened to the Western culture side.
It is not the “China” that it was 20 years ago, from now on, Chinese are not only working just for living but they start to working for enjoying.
Even this is only the beginning, Chinese consumers are finding in coffee a new way for socializing, talking business and relaxing…

cafe chinois

Chinese consumers don’t have the same approach regarding the coffee. This whole change is definitely facilitating your business if you want to sell coffee. Most of the international companies such as Starbucks, Nestle and Costa Coffee … etc. took advantage of this new wave.


cafe moment

The digitalization around the coffee

Before talking about the “success story” of most of the international companies that are breaking into the Chinese market, it is important to quote an essential point.

Recently these years, there is a big phenomenon around taking pictures of food, “selfies” and “shooting moments” to share with friends on social networks. The idea is to catch a moment of relaxation, take a picture of his cup of coffee, making a shoot of the moment.

This is a phenomenon that is just at its beginning due to the unprecedented evolution of connected objects. Chinese consumers are highly connected consumers.

café Chine


Starbucks: Adapting the taste to chinese consumers

With 1,500 sales outlets in China, Starbucks has managed to adapt its marketing strategy to Chinese consumers depending their needs and tastes.
The coffee is known to have a really strong taste and it would probably not immediately appeal Chinese consumers.
Starbucks has adapted the choice of its offer to Chinese consumers with adapted taste to the Chinese palate.
For example, Starbucks is offering Frappuccino with red bean flavor to suit local tastes.
However, it is important to note that adapting the taste does not always mean success, indeed to give you one example, the company Yum Brands Inc failed by trying to incorporate Chinese taste in their food product such as milk soy, shrimp… etc.

Starbucks has succeed to keep the authenticity of its core product: the coffee by adding different tastes to their products.

First Starbucks online shop on Alibabba’s Tmall

Starbucks has opened its first online store on Alibaba’s Tmall by giving to the consumers the experience of a virtual flagship.
Starbucks is strengthening its digital strategy by developing the e-commerce site but also with the mobile application.

The idea is to create a community around Starbucks lovers and the social network.
It is a way to extend the experience of the consumers in stores directly online. The e-commerce platform allows consumers to customize Starbucks cards and Starbucks vouchers.


starbucks taobao

Nescafé and highly visual campaign: “Smoovlatte China”.

Nescafé campaigns is playing on the visual side with a subtlety in the staging and quality of the image that is definitely appealing to Chinese consumers.
Very often it is women and men figures who are staging in order to give the image of a stylish side, graceful, subtle and authentic. All those qualities are well representing the product in itself.

Nescafe Angela Baby from Alfonso Aguilar on Vimeo.

Nescafe Cafe Selection ‘Angela Baby’ from Justin Woon on Vimeo.

Nescafé Smoovlatte 2015 (starring Angelababy) from Tak Kuroha on Vimeo.


Video Campaign

In the video campaign Smoovlatté of Nescafe China, the product is also very highlighted with a visual of the product often worked. The coffee milk spiral appearance and is well supported, well be the side of the product is an important point highlighted in the advertising campaign.

To conclude the consumption of coffee in the world may doubled in the next few years. The coffee market in China is just begining to be expanded in the future and is tend to be more and more autonomous concerning the production of the coffee. China is just at the begining of its change concerning the mentality change and also the way of living.