The Financial Times (FT), a British English-language international daily newspaper, ran an article on S. Korean coffee chain Caffé Bene, saying that S. Koreans’ love of coffee helped Korean coffee and bakery chains expand aggressively into overseas markets.
The recent article, titled ‘South Korean coffee boom goes international, said “Traditionally a nation of tea drinkers, South Koreans now consume coffee on average more than 12 times a week — more frequently than the national dish, kimchi.”
The article first dealt with Caffé Bene’s international expansion in Asia and beyond before touching upon the global expansion of CJ Foodville and SPC Group (which owns Paris Baguette).
“Caffé Bene, which was founded in 2008 and dominates the domestic coffee industry with more than 900 shops, has been leading the charge,” the article said.
The article said Caffé Bene’s joint venture posted a 54 percent increase in sales last year in China. “It has also moved into the US, differentiating itself from established US coffee chains by offering menu items such as waffles and bingsu, a shaved-ice dessert, and lattes laced with a traditional black and brown rice called misugaru,” the article added.
The article also quoted Wan Hui, analyst at Euromonitor, as saying: “Many South Korean coffee chains are swimming in the slipstream of the country’s entertainment industry, which has attracted fanatical popularity in China and Southeast Asia.”
She also told the FT that a major factor behind Caffé Bene’s growth in China was its product placement in the hit TV drama series Secret Garden. She was also cited as saying: “Supported by loyal consumers, usually fans of Korean pop culture and TV dramas, Korean-style restaurants and cafés . . . are likely to continue their healthy growth within Chinese consumer food service.”
“We were surprised by The FT’s coverage of Caffé Bene. Our differentiated products and marketing and aggressive global expansion strategies seem to have caught the attention of The FT, one of the world’s leading business news and information organizations,” said Kim Gun-dong , Advertising Executive at Caffé Bene.
As regards Paris Baguette, the article said “Rival faux-French bakery Paris Baguette has taken its aggressive expansion to Paris itself, where it opened a second store this month, adding to 178 other outlets in foreign markets, largely China and the US.”
“SPC Group, which owns Paris Baguette, said daily sales at its first Parisian store are now 25 per cent higher than sales during the period after it opened last summer and it now receives about 850 customers a day,” the article added.