If they "want to succeed in Vietnam, they have to change the way they serve," one customer says...

If they "want to succeed in Vietnam, they have to change the way they serve," one customer says of Starbucks' (SBUX) brewing methods at its Ho Chi Minh City flagship store. Of all the markets into which the Seattle coffee giant has ventured, Vietnam may prove the most challenging given the country's rich coffee culture which dates back at least a century. Predictably however, business is good, and Howard Schultz says sales are already exceeding expectations despite locals' penchant for what WSJ describes as a "thick, oily" domestic brew. (Also: SBUX goes to Myanmar)

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Comments (4)
  • jrepasch
    , contributor
    Comments (1971) | Send Message
    Vietnamese hot brew and iced is, in my opinion, the best in the world. I make it on occasion. The recipe is simple if you have a espresso maker. Brew espresso as directed, add condensed milk, enough to whiten the brew, low fat is okay. Stir and drink hot or allow to cool and add ice.


    Personally, I like it better than Starbuck's coffees and much cheaper when made at home. At Vietnamese eateries it's as expensive, maybe more than Starbucks.


    Long SUBX, the stock not the brew.
    17 May 2013, 10:18 PM Reply Like
  • warrenrial
    , contributor
    Comments (537) | Send Message
    What did you expect from the WJS.
    17 May 2013, 11:13 PM Reply Like
  • Stymie67
    , contributor
    Comments (179) | Send Message
    I am an expat living in VN, for many years, and long SBUX. The store in HCMC is impressive but I dont think you will see VN being that significant to the SBUX bottom line. Its an equilibrium here between capitalism and a Nation State, plus there are a couple of national coffee chains that (although service and quality are not great) and the VN like it their way generally, which is a small drip (and yes very thick!). Western style cappucinos etc are catching on for over 5 years, esp in independent cafes, and I suspect SB will have a few more stores, successful, but there will be inherent limits, also given the red tape here for foreign companies and a bit of govt protectionism (esp for coffee). It will attract people, but wont be like, say, Thailand or Philippines where there are many SB stores in downtown areas. I suppose this WSJ article is more about the symbolism of VN (still, after all these years). China does not have national brands or the same pride over their coffee, and I would say they and India are the crux of SB's plans in Asia.
    18 May 2013, 12:48 AM Reply Like
  • User 6686291
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Starbucks will never brew their coffee the same way the Vietnamese do. As long as Starbucks continues to focus on the young generation who seem to go to Starbucks to prove their high social class, it will stay in business. Foreign products are seen as fancy products for high social class. Let's just focus on the drinks like frappuccino and be aware of Coffee Bean and Gloria Jean's, etc.
    18 May 2013, 09:38 AM Reply Like
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