The Straits Times
Published on Feb 01, 2013

Starbucks opens first store in coffee-loving Vietnam


HO CHI MINH CITY (AFP) - Starbucks opened its first store in coffee-loving Vietnam on Friday, seeking to compete with local rivals in a country known for its strong cafe culture.

Vietnam - the world's second-largest coffee producer - has dozens of local chains as well as small coffee shops on nearly every street corner, presenting a major challenge for Starbucks to break into the crowded market.

Around 100 people queued up in southern Ho Chi Minh City for the opening, but the US giant's coffee was not to everybody's taste.

"I prefer Vietnamese coffee, which is stronger than Starbucks. As a Vietnamese, I love local coffee," said Nguyen Tien Tam, 35.