When it opens its first stores in Vietnam this year, coffee giant Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) will be altering its coffees to cater to local tastes.
When it opens in the Southeast Asian country in February, Starbucks will offer types of coffee designed to appeal to the Vietnamese, in addition to its typical styles, Bloomberg reports. Vietnam has a sizable under-35 population that’s beginning to drink more coffee. Consumption in the small nation grew 65% from 2008 to 2011.
Starbucks faces an entrenched coffee culture, however. Vietnam has different tastes than the chain normally serves, and the country itself has thousands of small, local coffee shops. The giant firm hopes to make gains by trading on its name and becoming a trendy place for young people to be seen around Ho Chi Minh City, where the first store will open.
Trung Nguyen, owner of a chain of Vietnamese coffee shops, told Bloomberg, “Starbucks is not worth worrying about. It doesn’t sell coffee. The people who go into a Starbucks may want to show that they are modern and stylish. If you’re a coffee gourmand, you come to us.”