If only coffee were about the taste…
But no, dear readers, it’s also a lifestyle, a profession, an art, a passion, and for many others, it’s a business. In ultra-competitive, hyper-capitalistic South Korea, it’s a huge business, as the coffee boom has gone on for over a decade. And there have been whispers of a plateau to this boom… a slowdown, a changing of tastes. Talk like this strikes fear in any profit-driven capitalistic coffee-chaebol wannabe. (South) Korea is a small country of 50 million people! (Actually, that’s quite a lot of people, especially for its small territory, but next to neighboring China’s 1.4 billion….. well). The big coffee chains, of which I’ve gently poked from time to time in my reviews, they have investors, or they are investors, so they are constantly looking for the next source of income, be it a from a new coffee product, new desserts to go with it, or the new development being constructed outside Seoul. But sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes these investors see bigger ₩ signs. And with a lot of zeroes, mind you, as you need 1000 South Korean Won to equal 1 US Dollar. So where to look to get a googol ₩? Well, it’s a big world we live in. It’s time to become an international coffee-chaebol conglomerate!
Well, I’m not really going to editorialize any further. Today, as I drink a delicious cappuccino, I’m just going to present to you a few articles about the current expansion plans. Starting with, the original multinational coffeehouse chain, Starbucks! Yes, I know it’s not Korean, but this IS CaféSeaSeo, Coffee from Seattle to Seoul, so it’s appropriate. And in more than one way, it ties in to my next review, coming soon. So here we go… Starbucks has opened its first store in Colombia, one of the coffee meccas of the world:
You might have noticed the mention about Reserve beans. Well, they have started selling them in Korea too (another tie-in to this blog). I hope to update my Starbucks posting soon to reflect this.
To transition from Starbucks to Korean chains, Fast Company specifically talks about Korean café expansion into international markets:
And finally, Forbes magazine talks about Paris Baguette’s expansion to France, with a mention of coffee chains too:
Hope you enjoyed reading these. There are many factors to coffee, from beans to bills, and while I prefer talking about the beans, it’s sometimes fascinating to analyze the economic side of things, so I’ll do so from time to time. So for now, I’ve finished my cappuccino, and it’s closing time at the café. So, until next time, good night!