Luckin Coffee, the Chinese coffee brand that is challenging Starbucks dominance in China, has announced plans to expand globally starting with India and the Middle East.
The Beijing-based start-up has inked a deal with international food group Kuwait Food Company, known as Americana Group, to launch a joint venture coffee business to help its international expansion.
Americana Group is a Kuwait founded company which owns franchises for KFC, Pizza Hut, and Costa Coffee, operates 1900 restaurants in 13 markets and 25 food production sites across the Middle East and North Africa.
The international expansion comes just months after the company raised more than $650m in its US IPO.
The 18-month old company, which focuses on technology, discounts and fast delivery, currently operates 3,000 stores across 40 cities in China and plans to open 4,500 outlets by the end of 2019. The move will make it China’s largest coffee chain in terms of stores. Starbucks currently has 3,300 stores in 141 cities across China.
Jenny Qian Zhiya, founder and CEO of Luckin Coffee, said in a statement, “This collaboration represents Luckin Coffee’s first step toward bringing its leading products from China to the world. We look forward to further expanding the freshly brewed coffee market internationally as we realize the incredible growth opportunities available to us through our innovative business model.”
Kesri Kapur, CEO of Americana Group, said, “We at Americana believe this MoU will revolutionize the food and beverage retail industry in the Greater Middle East and India, regions that provide promising prospects for new retail growth and expansion. We have worked with many leading and revolutionary food and beverage brands over our history and believe that Luckin Coffee’s superior products, experience and services will deliver success in these regions.”