The Italian coffee roaster and café chain plans to become a key player in the Chinese coffee market, where it is preparing to establish an e-commerce and retail presence within the next two years
illycaffè has an expansion strategy which its said will enable it to double or triple its sales in China by 2026 | Photo credit: Aleksandar Andreev
Italian coffee roaster and café chain illycaffè is planning to make China its second largest market and will launch e-commerce and retail operations across the country within two years.
The company began operating in mainland China in 1997 and predominantly provides wholesale coffee services to hotel, restaurant and café businesses.
Approximately a third of illycaffè sales are currently generated in Italy.
Speaking to Chinese news agency Xinhua, CEO Cristina Scocchia said illycaffè’s international sales were currently “too fragmented” and that the company is keen to “build bigger markets abroad”.
Scocchia, who was appointed illycaffè CEO in January 2022, said “we have studied which markets can become a second home market for us and the best option is China”. The company has an expansion strategy which will enable it to double or triple its sales in China by 2026, she added.
“The coffee wave in China is already starting, but when it takes full force, we want to already be well established there as a player in the market. One thing experience has shown us is that China can be very quick to adopt trends. The speed of innovation in China is tremendous,” she said.
illycaffè is currently exploring potential partnerships to facilitate its move into e-commerce in 2023, ahead of commencing direct retail operations in 2024.
The coffee roaster and café chain said its Chinese revenues across the first nine months of 2022 increased 22% year-on-year.
Founded in Trieste in 1933, illycaffè is one of the world’s most prominent coffee roasters, with a presence within restaurants, hotels and offices in 140 countries worldwide. Additionally, the company currently operates 70 cafés across Europe and North America.