May 05, 2020 07:10 PM

Lavazza, Yum China Take Aim at Starbucks

What’s new: Italian premium coffee maker Lavazza Group has formed a joint venture with Yum China, local operator of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants, to open Lavazza-branded shops in China.

The pair kicked off the partnership with the launch of their first concept store in Shanghai, China’s commercial capital, they announced late last week.

The shop is the first Lavazza-branded one outside of Italy, the pair said, without giving additional specifics for their development plans in China.

Why should people care: Lavazza is entering a market that has exploded for coffee sellers over the last decade as the beverage plays rapid catch-up with the nation’s more traditional tea-drinking culture.

But the market for premium coffee in China is already quite crowded, with Starbucks, as well as smaller chains like Costa and even KFC and McDonald’s, all chasing consumers with premium products.

Despite that, Lavazza will most likely have at least one less rival to deal with as former homegrown highflyer Luckin struggles under the weight of a major accounting scandal that wiped out more than 80% of its market value last month.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read a press release on the new joint venture, click here.

Related: China’s Top Market Regulator Raids Luckin’s Headquarters

Contact reporter Yang Ge (; Edited by Joshua Dummer (

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