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Starbucks Opens It's First Vietnamese Outlet in Ho Chi Minh City

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Jan 15, 2013 03:47 PM EST

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The coffee giant, Starbucks is opening up Vietnam's first shop in Ho Chi Minh City.

To date Starbucks has more than 3,000 stores in Asia alone and thousands more around the world.

CNN reported that Vietnam is one of the biggest exporters of coffee and serves some of the best coffee. It is the number two exporter after Brazil.

Starbucks said in an announcement that they already purchase a lot of Arabica coffee from Vietnam and they are committed to "sourcing more arabica coffee from the Vietnam region over the long term," reported CNN. 

Local coffee shop owner Nghiem Ngoc Thuy in Hanoi said to the Associated Press "Our prices are affordable for average Vietnamese. Expensive coffee is just for the children of government officials, or people who have lots of money."

Vietnamese coffee is often sweetened with condensed milk to create a strong yet sweet and creamy concoction. The AP reported that their coffee culture was inherited from French colonizers and has stuck to become a mainstay  in the country, over tea.

According to the Vietnamese government the country producer 1.73 million tons of coffee in 2012, reports the AP.

"We look forward to growing with Vietnam's already vibrant coffee industry, and making a positive impact in the communities where we operate," Starbucks Asia-Pacific president Jinlong Wang said to the AP.

The Starbucks concept could appeal to Vietnam's growing middle class. Anthony Emms managing partner at Stanton Emms Strategy Consultants that advices international food and beverage companies in the Asian market said to the AP, "I don't believe there is a massive barrier to Starbucks in Vietnam. Starbucks is not really a coffee; it's a food-service concept."

Outside of Starbucks there has been an insurgence of international food chains opening up shop in Vietnam including Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, KFC, Burger King and Gloria Jean's Coffees International.

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