Coffee Craze
  ·  2023-10-13  ·   Source: NO.40-41 OCTOBER 5, 2023

This summer, a coffee fair bonanza has swept across China. Featuring pop-up cafés and coffee brands from China and abroad, these coffee fairs celebrate coffee as not just a universal beverage, but as a lifestyle that has been increasingly popular among Chinese Gen Z consumers.

Coffee market insiders have attributed this astounding growth to two major factors: One is growing consumer demand, and the other is the continuous integration of China into the global market. In 1989, Nestlé's instant coffee entered the Chinese market. In 1999, Starbucks opened its first Chinese outlet in Beijing. Since then, the country's coffee market has expanded, keeping pace with China's broader economy, as well as the changing perceptions of younger generations, who are always on the lookout for new experiences and new flavors.

In recent years, China's coffee scene has not only seen a great influx of foreign chain brands, but also witnessed the rise of domestic brands. Some examples are Luckin Coffee, China's largest coffee chain, based in Xiamen, Fujian Province, and Shanghai-based Manner Coffee and M Stand. These domestic brands have together created a new Chinese style that combines coffee with traditional Chinese flavors, such as tea and even baijiu (Chinese distilled liquor).

The country has also seen a recent boom in boutique coffeehouses, which have mushroomed in not only megacities like Beijing and Shanghai, but also in many smaller cities and rural regions. Featuring special coffee flavors and stylish décor, these startup cafés have become a means for young people to showcase their chosen lifestyles.

(Oriental Outlook, August 24)



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