Chinese Consumers Open their Arms to Embrace Coffee Culture

Since Starbucks opened its first shop in China in 1998 in Shanghai, Chinese coffee consumption and coffee culture have been growing. And in recent years, more and more coffee (related) brands found their way to the Chinese market to profit from the increasing popularity of coffee. 

Two cups of fresh coffee

At the end of 2017, the first overseas Starbucks Reserve Roastery store opened in Shanghai. In that same year, local Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee set up their first shop. Within two years, China counted no less than 4500 Luckin Coffee shops, serving their 40 million clients nationwide. This dramatic growth shows the popularity of coffee in China. 

Over the years, more and more international coffee retailing brands have been entering the Chinese market. Costa Coffee entered China in 2006, Zoo Coffee in 2012, and %Arabica in 2018. Not surprisingly, domestic Chinese coffee brands are arising as well. 

To understand this booming market, and to evaluate the trends of the Chinese coffee culture, CoffeeSalon, a Chinese information platform specializing in the coffee sector, annually conducts a Coffee Survey. This has become a regular contributor to the development of the Chinese coffee sector. With CoffeeSalon’s permission, we translated their 2019 China Coffee Survey Report into English.

  • Survey results show that nearly 70% of all coffee consumers drink coffee daily, and more than 60% of these coffee consumers spent more than 2,000 CNY on coffee (related) products in 2018. 
  • The top five favorite coffee types by Chinese coffee consumers are single origin, milk coffee, americano, espresso, and cold brew. 
  • When we turn our attention to baristas and café owners, about half of all surveyed baristas have more than 3-year work experience in coffee-related industries. The majority of these baristas (80%) earn less than 6,000 CNY a month. In 2018, 35.5% of all cafés made a profit—slightly more cafés (41.35%) broke-even. 

You can read the full report through the link below.