Starbucks doesn't scare Famous Brands

By Staff Writer
You’d think that the announcement that Starbucks will be entering the South African market would leave some local competitors quaking in their boots but one rival is already welcoming the move.

Kevin Hedderwick, group chief executive of Famous Brands, noted: “We regard all global brands as competitors but our stance is that we welcome competition because it helps to grow the category.  We will however continue to fiercely protect our hard earned market share which is not for sale. We have lived through the threats of McDonalds, Burger King, Domino’s, Pizza Hut etc. and will do the same surrounding Starbucks.”
 
Famous Brands is responsible for a number of well-known food brands in South Africa. These include: Mugg & Bean, Wimpy, Europa, Fego Caffe, Vovo Telo, House of Coffees, and Tashas.
 
Starbucks will soon be joining the ranks of other international food chains to make a mark on the South African market. Together with Taste Holdings, the international coffee brand will be opening its first South African store in Johannesburg in 2016.
 
In a statement, Kris Engskov, the president of Starbucks Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said: “We are proud to be bringing Starbucks to South Africa next year. Working with Taste, our partner, we’re going to deliver a great Starbucks experience. The coffee market 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 out first barista team.”
 
Launching in South Africa
 
Taste Holdings, which owns food brands such as Domino’s Pizza, The Fish and Chip Co, and luxury brands such as Arthur Kaplan, owns the exclusive rights to develop Starbucks in South Africa.
 
Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste Holdings, revealed: “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 realise that we share similar core values, including a commitment to localisation and uplifting both direct and indirect partners. Starbucks supports the development of local suppliers and is fully committed to our Changing Lanes programme 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.”
 
Skills development will be a major focus for the new Starbucks and Taste Holdings initiative.

“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,” said Engskov.
 
Gonzaga highlighted: “We’re looking forward to bringing the entire Starbucks experience to South Africa for the first time. That includes 100% ethically sourced Arabica coffee, Starbucks full menu offering and of course beautiful coffee houses.” 

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