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Topic: International Cultural and Social Environments”

Learning Objective

ü  The objective of this activity is to enable the students to learn about cultural and social norms while expanding business in international markets.

Learning Outcome

ü  Students will come to know why most of the global brands adopted the local flavors while going global.

Instructions to attempt GDB

      Do not copy information from internet as it is not required.

      Attempt the GDB by yourself and it will be entertained positively.

      Answer should be relevant and do not copy/paste from any website otherwise it will be marked zero.

      Article/Case is opinion based so provide your best output with justifications.

      GDB received after the due date will not be considered.

Starbucks Brings Its Global Brand but Adopts Local Flavors in Asia Markets

Posted by Dale Buss on June 3, 2013 07:06 PM


Starbucks Corporation is an American coffeehouse chain and a global coffee company situated in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, dealing in 62 countries with 20,891 stores. Its major stores are located in United States, Canada, Japan and People's Republic of China. In addition to this, Starbucks is an active member of the World Cocoa Foundation.

Starbucks stores offer whole-bean coffee, hot and cold beverages, full-leaf teas, pastries, microground instant coffee, snacks, packaged food items, hot and cold sandwiches, and items such as mugs and tumblers. And Starbucks Evening stores/locations also serve a variety of wines, beers, and appetizers after 4pm. Starbucks Entertainment and Hear Music brand division markets books, film and music. Most of the products are either seasonal or specific to the locality of company’s store.

Starbucks founded in 1971 as a Seattle coffee bean roaster and retailer. With the passage of time the company has expanded its network rapidly all over the world by opening on average two new stores every day. In the recent Asian tour including China and India, Howard Schultz (Starbucks CEO) highlighted an expansion initiative that may prove a very challenging for the company: peddling coffee in lands dominated for centuries by drinking tea.

Still, Schultz gamely made stops in Japan and Thailand, where in addition to China and India and other places, Starbucks is bringing its unique brand of experiential drinking, sustainability and community involvement in the hopes of creating some of the same kind of brand magic that it has achieved in the United States and elsewhere. At the same time, it is pursuing LEED environmental certification for many of its stores there.

 Actually, Starbucks already has nearly 1,000 stores in Japan, its first international market outside of North America. Schultz stopped by to celebrate the opening of the new Starbucks Meguro store in Tokyo, whose design and experience has been inspired by the traditional Japanese "Ichi-go ichi-e" service spirit (literal translation, according to Starbucks: one time, one meeting). The store features what the company called in a release "locally relevant, simple design solutions" including cues from traditional tea houses, parts of a green garden and local contemporary art.

            Starbucks' bow to the unique tastes of Japanese consumers includes a tiramisu-flavored coffee that is served at the Tokyo airport.

 In Thailand, Schultz stopped in Bangkok to inaugurate the first Starbucks "community store" outside the United States, to celebrate 15 years in the market and to remark on Starbucks' plans to double its store count in the country over the next five years. Starbucks' three other community stores are in Los Angeles, New York and Texas. Each store operates "with a commitment to serving the local community," as a Starbucks release put it, through profit sharing. 10 percent of the sales of "hand-crafted" beverages purchased at the store in the Langsuan neighborhood of Bangkok will be directed to a development fund benefiting health, irrigation and education projects in the northern hill communities of Thailand where Starbucks coffee is grown but where the people tend to be poor.

            Starbucks also recently decided to enter India, Asia's third-largest economy, after studying the proposition for six years. Its first store was opened last fall in Mumbai.

            In China, where Starbucks plans to nearly double its outlets to 1,500 by 2015, the company is also beginning to peddle CPG items in grocery stores such as packaged drinks and coffee beans, much as it has done in the United States for many years.

            But while Starbucks is bringing lots of indigenous cultural and culinary touches to its growing number of stores throughout Asia, there are some elements of "local flavor" that it would be advised to stay away from: In a Starbucks in the heart of Hong Kong's financial district recently, a local newspaper discovered that water from a faucet in a dingy washroom was used for brewing. Since the report, Starbucks has switched to distilled water there.


Do you think that introducing “local flavor” will be as profitable as the “global flavor” is? Provide any six logical arguments in support of your answer.


  1. 1.      http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2013/06/03/Starbucks-Asia-060313.aspx
  2. 2.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starbucks
  3. 3.      http://www.starbucks.com/

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Replies to This Discussion

Please Discuss here about this GDB.Thanks

Our main purpose here discussion not just Solution

We are here with you hands in hands to facilitate your learning and do not appreciate the idea of copying or replicating solutions.

Yes introducing “local flavor” will be as profitable as the “global flavor”

can u explain it .............................


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