Starbucks Coffee Company and Taste Holdings announced a licensed partnership that will see Starbucks stores open across South Africa. For the first time in Southern Africa, Starbucks will open full-format stores bringing the entire range of its food and beverages, including its ethically-sourced Arabica coffee, to South African consumers.
“We are proud to be bringing Starbucks to South Africa next year,” says Kris Engskov, president, Starbucks Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). “Working with Taste, our partner, we’re going to deliver a great Starbucks experience. The coffee market here is vibrant and growing fast; we want to be part of that growth, bringing the passion and energy of this remarkable country into the design of our first store and our first barista team. We can’t wait to get started.”
The license agreement sees Taste owning the exclusive rights to develop Starbucks retail outlets in South Africa. As Taste is the licensee, it will own and operate the stores directly.
“We are very excited to be Starbucks partner in Southern Africa. As we’ve visited numerous Starbucks markets and partners around the world we’ve come to realize that we share similar core values, including a commitment to localization and uplifting both direct and indirect partners,” says Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste. “Starbucks supports the development of local suppliers and is fully committed to our Changing Lanes program wherein we have provided employment to previously unemployed people and expose them to global training initiatives and skills. Overall we’re a good partnership match.”
The partnership will see direct job creation opportunities as each Starbucks store opens, in addition to opportunities at the Taste support office in Johannesburg. Taste expects that the indirect impact of skills transfer into South Africa, and the localization opportunities in the supply chain will be material. In addition, Starbucks and Taste have committed to continuing Taste’s Changing Lanes program, employing predominantly from currently unemployed youth directly from the communities in which they trade.
“Young people are the key to our success. The majority of our workforce is aged between 17 and 25 so talented youth has always been a priority and we will equip our new partners with the skills necessary to succeed in today’s economy. We look forward to using our partnership to leverage Taste’s strong track record of creating jobs and developing great people," Engskov says. "Starbucks sources a considerable amount of its global, high-quality coffee from farms in sub-Saharan Africa, in partnership with our network of farmer support and agronomy centers in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania. We are proud to be able to offer some of the best African coffees in the world to more customers in the region.”
“We’re looking forward to bringing the entire Starbucks experience to South Africa for the first time. That includes 100 percent ethically sourced Arabica coffee, Starbucks full menu offering and, of course, beautiful coffee houses,” Gonzaga says.