Home/ Companies / News/  Starbucks opens first Reserve outlet in India

New Delhi: Tata Starbucks Private Limited on Tuesday announced the opening of its more premium coffee format Starbucks Reserve in Mumbai’s Fort area as consumers in India step up to more evolved varieties of the beverage.

The move is a “testament" to Starbucks’ long-term commitment to elevate the coffee experience in one of the brand’s key growth markets globally, the local arm of the American coffee chain said in a statement.

The store will sell small-lot single-origin coffees including Bolivia Sol de la Mañana, Rwanda Sholi, Sumatra Kerinci, brewed and served by Starbucks “black apron" coffee masters. These are essentially trained coffee masters who draw out the complexities of each beverage’s flavor profile through methods such as siphon brewing and nitro-cold brewing.

Sushant Dash, chief executive officer, Tata Starbucks said there are “enough and more" Indian consumers who want to experience the offerings at Reserve. The company will open a “few more" Reserve formats in line with evolving coffee drinking habits. India is among the coffee chain’s fastest-growing markets.

“For us, at least the last couple of years and even during the pandemic we have been quite aggressive and positive about the outlook. So last year, we actually opened the highest number of stores that we have ever done in one year—we opened 50 odd stores. More importantly, today, we have moved beyond just the metros. This has given us the confidence that there is demand for the Starbucks experience, even outside of the metros," said Dash.

To be sure, Starbucks operates 300 stores in India across 36 cities serving over 330,000 customers weekly. It operates in India through an equal joint venture between Starbucks Coffee Company and Tata Consumer Products Ltd. Globally it operates 34,000 stores.

Coffee at Reserve outlets are priced marginally higher than the core Starbucks offerings. However, consumers will also be able to buy regular Starbucks beverages at these outlets.

“As far as Reserve is concerned, it is about the evolution in the coffee journey. Today, obviously, the consumer is traveling more, they are also evolved and many of them are enthusiastic and wanting to experiment in terms of what they want from coffee," he said making a case for bringing the Reserve format to India.

Starbucks opened over 50 stores in the country in the last financial year, its highest store addition so far. In the first six months of the current financial year, the coffee chain added 27 stores while entering 10 new cities.

Going forward the coffee chain will continue to drive expansion both across markets as well as newer formats. “It will be a mix of both. We have just hit the 300 mark; we are now at a substantial number in terms of the overall number of stores. given the width and depth in terms of the size of the country I think there is a lot more potential," he said.

India is still a tea-drinking nation with coffee having a 10-11% penetration at the household level.

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Updated: 18 Oct 2022, 05:55 PM IST
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