Starbucks brews innovation in Asia’s foodservice scene

June 11, 2018
3 min read

Two new Starbucks locations in China are welcoming customers to bring along their pets for a cup of coffee. Located in the cities of Guangzhou and Chengdu, these paw-friendly cafes feature the standard Starbucks menu, as well as have a menu specially designed for pets. These offerings include the ‘Puppucino’, made with sweet cream, and the ‘Zero-Shot Americano’, which is iced/ambient. Furthermore, the global coffee chain has plans to organise pet-friendly events that will help owners connect with each other.

China’s pet market is booming as more and more consumers look to adopt pets. Mintel research reveals that owners highly value their pets’ companionship, especially those with a dog or cat, considering them as part of their closest family. They even want to share new experiences and go to new places with their pets. According to Mintel research on marketing to pet owners, 32% of Chinese pet owners have paid more to take their pets to pet-friendly venues, such as hotels, cinemas and restaurants.

While still difficult to find, pet-friendly retailers and foodservice outlets are steadily growing in number both locally and abroad. Pet owners are interested in creating shared experiences with their pets, especially for more mobile pets such as dogs. While such experiences were once mainly restricted to the home, the streets or the park, there is potential to make the locations people visit every day—such as shops, gyms, restaurants and bars—more furry-friendly.

Delivering new consumer experiences

Starbucks has definitely been upping the ante and making a mark across Asia with their innovative consumer experiences.

The company has recently opened a new Reserve outlet in Hong Kong that serves two locally brewed coffee-infused craft beers. On top of the standard menu, the latest Starbucks Reserve in Hong Kong’s IFC mall also serves a selection of craft beers, wines and light dishes to attract customers during the day and after work. The coffee-infused craft beers, a Mocha Brown Ale and a Caramel Macchiato Cream Ale, were created in partnership with a local brewery.


Over in Seoul, South Korea, Starbucks opened a new store that offers customers a more personalised and intimate coffee experience with the baristas. The 1,000 square-metre store is the coffee chains largest store in South Korea. The store offers nearly 100 handcrafted customised beverages and more than 60 locally sourced food items, including rice dishes that are prepared exclusively for the branch.

Starbucks’ initiatives across Asia aligns with Mintel Trend ‘Extend My Brand’ which highlights how brands are expanding into new areas, categories and demographics in order to find new business as well as intrigue consumers.

Joyce Lam
Joyce Lam

Joyce is a Senior Trends Analyst at Mintel, focusing on capturing consumer behaviour for the Asia Pacific market, as well as supporting the global Mintel Trends team to identify new consumer trends.

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