Starbucks CEO: Competition in China boosting coffee demand

By Business LeadersFOXBusiness

Starbucks CEO: Accelerated new store growth in China

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson on the shareholders meeting, growth and the company's expansion in China.

China loves to drink tea. But consumers are also enjoying coffee, according to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson.

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“Starbucks entered the market two decades ago,” he told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday.  “We began to introduce the Chinese consumer to premium Arabica coffee. The hand-crafted beverages that we make and serve in our Starbucks stores around the world, we serve in China.”

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Starbucks entered the China market in 1999 when it opened the first store in the China World Trade Building in Beijing. Now, it has 3,600 stores in more than 150 cities across the nation, according to the company website.

Johnson said that the Chinese consumer is showing that there’s a “large and growing addressable market which is bringing in new competition.”

However, there's plenty of room for competition, Johnson said.

"The market is so large and there’s so many opportunities that in many ways competition is helping accelerate the adoption of coffee consumption in China," he said.

Johnson sees a "significant" long-term growth opportunity.

“I think statistically Euromoniter reported that on average the Chinese consumer consumes one cup of coffee per capita per year as compared to 300 cups of coffee per capita per year in the United States,” he said.

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