This is People's Daily Tonight.
Coffee shops flourishing in Beijing
The smell of coffee floating in the air, Zhang Lanlan is busily serving customers in her Debeans Café during lunch hour.
Zhang, a Chinese woman who had lived in South Korea for about eight years, returned to Beijing and opened a coffee shop after seeing the growing popularity of coffee.
“Some people come to my coffee shop for work and they may stay here for a whole day.”Zhang said to us. (Photo: People`s Daily/ Yang Chuchu, Kuang Xixi)
According to media reports, China's coffee shop market is expected to grow to $12 billion by 2022. The coffee demand had increased 16 percent annually from 2004 to 2014, according to International Coffee Organization data.
Coffee, once a beverage popular mostly in Western countries, is now infiltrating the Chinese market, which used to be dominated by tea. It is winning more recognition among Chinese young people.
For many youngsters who believe “A coffee a day keeps burdens at bay”, hanging out in cafés has become a modern lifestyle to relax. Hectic Beijing, China's capital, is one of the most popular places for coffee shops in the country.
Starbucks came to China in 1998. Now it has more than 3,100 chain stores in 136 cities, with a new store opening every 15 hours. With the No.1 position in China's specialist coffee market, Starbucks’55 percent share in the market is worth an estimated $3.81 billion each year.
Other chains such as Costa Coffee and Pacific Coffee are sparing no efforts to expand their market share, lured by the huge demand and potential for growth.
Zhou Zhiqing, general manager of operations in Cheku Café. (Photo: People`s Daily/ Yang Chuchu, Qu Qiuyan)
Coffee shops in China are mainly clustered in big cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai. The number of cafés in third-tier and smaller cities is very small.
The industry is expected to grow from 11 to 15 percent annually in the next few years, experts said.
There are more discerning coffee drinkers in Beijing. Automatic coffee makers cannot meet the demand of Chinese consumers, who are pursuing higher quality and better taste.
Facing this growing demand, coffee shops have to focus on an exceptional beverage.
Innovative products are a weapon for the industry to cope with homogenous competition. Offering a range of products and services in a small and beautiful space is an industry trend.
(Produced by Kuang Xixi and Qiao Wai)