| South Africa

Rand Capital Coffee aspires to scale Starbucks across Africa

Rand Capital Coffee CEO Adrian Maizey has outlined his company’s vision to grow Starbucks’ presence beyond South Africa and across the African continent

A Starbucks store in South Africa. Rand Capital Coffee purchased the licence for Starbucks’ operations in South Africa from Taste Holdings for 7m rand (US$445k) in late-2019 | Photo credit: Starbucks Coffee Company 



Rand Capital Coffee CEO Adrian Maizey has outlined his firm’s intention to scale the Starbucks brand across Africa. In an interview with The Africa Report, Maizey said he wanted to convert “destination consumers into habitual consumers” and scale the Seattle-based coffee chain across Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and beyond.
 
“We have the rights to all of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). There’s eight surrounding countries — all the way to Malawi — for which we have explicit rights. Effectively, if we can perform, I think we will earn the rights to the rest of Africa”, Maizey said.
 
“Right now, Starbucks is a bit of a novelty. You have to convert that destination consumer into a habitual consumer. Who’s driving to a mall to get coffee in the morning? It’s not happening”, he added.
 
Rand Capital Coffee purchased the licence for Starbucks’ operations in South Africa from Taste Holdings for 7m rand (US$445k) in late-2019.
 
In 2015, Starbucks granted Taste Holdings an exclusive 25-year license to open stores in South Africa, with the latter firm forecasting 200 South African stores by 2020.

However, despite the initial popularity of Starbucks' Johannesburg debut in 2016, Taste Holdings struggled to attract enough customers to grow the business, in part due to higher prices than many of its competitors. In late 2018 Taste Holdings announced it would cease opening new Starbucks stores due to insufficient capital.

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