The Straits Times
Published on Sep 02, 2012

Coffee giant Starbucks taps into tea-loving India


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.