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China’s Cotti Coffee laying groundwork to support international growth

The rapidly expanding coffee chain is establishing coffee and raw materials supply chain bases in South America, Africa and Asia to support its international expansion plans

Cotti Coffee commenced international expansion with stores in South Korea and Indonesia | Photo credit: via Shutterstock


China’s Cotti Coffee is developing coffee and raw material supply chain bases in South America, Ethiopia and Vietnam to support its international expansion plans. 

In its first English-language press release, the Beijing-based coffee chain said it is seeking to build ‘a robust foundation of global supply chain infrastructure and capability’. 

Cotti Coffee currently operates a roasting facility in Dangtu, which it reports is the largest individual coffee roasting factory in China. The site has an annual output of 45,000 tons and houses Cotti Coffee’s research, production and quality control operations. 

Founded in August 2022 by former Luckin Coffee executives Charles Lu and Jenny Qian, Cotti Coffee opened its first outlet in the Chinese city of Fuzhou in October 2022. 

The value-focused coffee chain has rapidly expanded across China over the 10 months since to reach more than 5,000 locations.  

Cotti Coffee commenced international expansion in August 2023 with two stores in Seoul, South Korea, two outlets in Jakarta, Indonesia, and a single store in Tokyo, Japan. The coffee chain will open a second site in the Japanese capital in September 2023 alongside its first stores outside of Asia with three locations in Toronto Canada, a spokesperson told World Coffee Portal.

As part of its international expansion drive, Cotti Coffee offers both single-store and regional franchise models, the latter of which includes regional exclusivity.  

To reduce perceived risks and barriers to entry, the coffee chain forgoes franchise-related fees, instead opting for a profit-sharing arrangement. Additionally, Cotti Coffee has introduced a lifetime partnership system, which it says ensures the longevity of its sites. Under the arrangement, the coffee chain offers a depreciation buy-back option for store equipment if a franchisee leaves the business. 

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