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Coffee giant Starbucks taps into tea-loving India

Published on Sep 2, 2012 2:13 PM
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Customers wait in line to place their orders at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf outlet in Mumbai on July 18, 2012. Starbucks is betting on big returns as it seeks to lure an expanding legion of coffee lovers in India -- primarily a tea-drinking nation where lifestyle changes have spawned a booming market for cafes. -- PHOTO: AFP

MUMBAI (AFP) - Starbucks is betting on big returns as it seeks to lure an expanding legion of coffee lovers in India - primarily a tea-drinking nation where lifestyle changes have spawned a booming market for cafes.

After eyeing the Indian market for years, the world's largest coffee chain is planning its foray into the country later this year, with an initial US$78 million (S$97 million) investment to tap the country's fast-growing appetite for the drink.

"Coffee has changed from being a traditional beverage, consumed mainly in south India, to a mainstream beverage with a national presence," said Starbucks' China and Asia-Pacific president John Culver.

"Given the size of the Indian economy, the growth of cafe culture and the rising spending power, India will be a very large market over the long term," he added.

 
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