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Report: China Overtakes United States as Largest Coffee Shop Market

Cotti Coffee

The Chinese chain Cotti Coffee opened 6,004 net new outlets in China over the past 12 months, according to the Project Café East Asia report. The image, “20230407 Cotti Coffee at Grand Plaza, Zhengzhou High-Tech Zone” by Windmemories is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

China has overtaken the United States as the country with the highest number of coffee shops in the world, according to the latest annual report on the East Asian coffee market from Allegra Group’s World Coffee Portal.

Both the largest and the fastest-growing coffee retail market in East Asia, China swelled to nearly 50,000 total coffee outlets over the past year, representing 58% growth over the year.

China’s growth was led by small-store-format chains Luckin Coffee and Cotti Coffee, which added just over 5,000 and 6,000 shops, respectively, according to the report, called Project Café East Asia. Starbucks, meanwhile, opened 785 net new retail outlets in China, which was enough for the company to maintain its hold as the largest chain in the country.

For the report, the market research group gathered data from more than 300 surveys and consultations with industry leaders, more than 4,000 surveys with consumers in Mandarin and English, on-site data and desk research. The report covers 18 East Asian countries.

Luckin Coffee

Overall, six of the largest 10 markets in East Asia achieved double-digit outlet growth over the last 12 months, World Coffee Portal stated. Following China on the list of fastest-growing markets (by percentage) were Malaysia (28% growth) and the Philippines (15.3%).

The report notes the rising prominence of coffee chains that originated in Asia, as opposed to international operators from farther afield. Starbucks remains the largest branded chain throughout the 18-country region (with more than 13,500 stores in 15 countries).

However, domestic chains — such as South Korea’s Mega Coffee, Indonesia’s Tomoro Coffee and Malaysia’s Zus Coffee — are increasing market share. Other East Asian-born chains — including Luckin, Cotti, Kopi Kenangan and Compose Coffee — have opened international stores over the past 12 months, according to the report.

More information about the report can be found here.

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