| India

India’s Barista reaches 400-stores as competition heats up

The Haryana-based coffee chain is expected to exceed market leader Café Coffee Day’s 460-plus outlets in 2024 but faces stiff competition from fast-growing domestic and international rivals 

Staff outside Barista’s Metro Station outlet in New Delhi | Photo credit: Barista


India’s Barista has reached 400 stores with a new outlet at Metro Station in New Delhi. 

The Haryana-based coffee chain opened its first site in the Indian capital in 2000 and launched in Sri Lanka in 2002, where it currently operates 29 stores. Barista operates both standalone outlets and Express kiosks. 

“Our journey has been marked by growth, innovation, and dedication to meeting the needs of our guests. With the opening of this 400th store, we are taking a giant leap forward in reaching more communities and making our products accessible to everyone,” said Rajat Agrawal, CEO, Barista. 

Barista is the third largest branded coffee chain in India behind Bengaluru-based Café Coffee Day, which operated 467 stores as of 30 June 2023, and Starbucks, which has 390 outlets. 

Backed by Rs 100 Cr ($12.1m) investment, Barista is set to open 80 new sites in India this year and is expected to surpass Café Coffee Day’s store count following the market leader’s four consecutive years of net outlet closures. 

However, Barista’s faces stiff competition from Tata Starbucks, which has outlined plans to open 600 new outlets in India within the next four years to reach 1,000 stores with a focus on smaller-format sites. 

Barista will also face increased competition from a cohort of domestic brands investing heavily in outlet expansion. In January 2023, Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters raised $30m to increase its India store footprint and has since opened 32 of 200 planned new outlets.  

Additionally, Jaipur-based Nothing Before Coffee partnered with franchise consultancy Building Brands for Tomorrow in May to open at least 50 new outlets. Meanwhile, Creaegis-backed Third Wave Coffee raised $35m in September and value-focused abCoffee obtained $2m in October 2023 to scale their respective store networks. 

International operators are also poised to catalyse rising consumer demand for premium coffee experiences in India, with Costa Coffee seeking to open up to 50 stores a year, Tim Hortons eyeing 120 stores by 2026 and Pret A Manger planning to reach 100 sites in 2027.

Additionally, Dunkin’ is undergoing a ‘coffee-first’ rebrand in India, including new store designs and a cold espresso beverage menu, to attract younger coffee consumers. 

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