Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Starbucks Vietnam Debut Challenged by Light Coffee Image

Starbucks Corp. will have to convince architect Tran Cao Tho and his friends to switch from stronger and cheaper coffee at their neighborhood cafe when it enters Vietnam next month.

He is part of the sizeable under-35 generation the Seattle-based company will seek to convert when opening its first stores in the Southeast Asian nation, where coffee consumption spiked 65 percent between 2008 and 2011. The world’s largest coffee chain will battle entrenched tastes, local brands, international rivals and the thousands of neighborhood coffee shops that dot Vietnam’s streets.