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Starbucks to debut small-lot Indian coffee in U.S. this year

Starbucks to debut small-lot Indian coffee in U.S. this year
Starbucks Corp. plans it big for India.
As the world’s largest coffee chain seeks to open a spate of new stores in coming years, it is expanding its roasting capacity in India while it wants to increase its presence in the world’s second-most populous country from the fewer than 100 cafes at present in the country.
John Culver, president of Starbucks’ China and Asia Pacific Region said that in a bid to expose U.S. customers to beans grown in India’s Coorg region, Starbucks also will start selling Indian coffee at its Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle.

“People look to us for coffee leadership. Our customers want that exploration of flavors from all parts of the world, and this is just one step in that direction,” Culver said.
As the U.S. becomes increasingly saturated with its cafes, Starbucks has been pursuing growth strategies and opportunities across the globe. Expansion plans are well on their way in the countries of South Africa, China and Colombia and the Seattle-based company is investing money for the expansion.
Since the first cafe opened in 2012 in a partnership with Tata Global Beverages Ltd, India has become Starbucks’ fastest-growing market. There has been an expansion to 84 locations across six cities in India since the opening of the first store just four years ago. India will be among its five largest markets in the long term, Starbucks said. U.K., where Starbucks currently has 870 cafes, would have to be surpassed by India to crack the list.
Chief Executive Officer of the company, Howard Schultz, said on a conference call in January that India “is growing faster on a percentage basis than any other region in the world”.
“We saw firsthand the excitement consumers have for the Starbucks brand,” Schultz added.
Under its premium Reserve label, Starbucks is planning to introduce the first single-origin coffee from India. With the aim to improve the quality of the Indian coffee it plans to import, the company worked with Tata over the last few years, Culver said.
 He said that with discerning drinkers curious about the nuances in tastes and flavor from beans grown in different parts of the world, coffee culture is starting to mimic that of wine.
About 13 percent of total revenue is generated by the company’s China and Asia Pacific unit. Compared with just 700 additions of new stores in the Americas segment, and 200 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Starbucks plans to open about 900 new locations in the region in the current fiscal year.
Starbucks is opening about 500 new cafes in China alone in a year in addition to the existing more than 2,000 cafes in the country. In the first four years of doing business in India, the growth noted in  this country has been more than that of china during the forst foru years of business there, Culver said.
“It’s a complex market, but we feel we’ve created a unique premium coffee experience that has not existed there,” he said.
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Christopher J. Mitchell

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