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Gloria Jean's stirs up growth

GLOBAL coffee house
Gloria Jean’s Coffees plans to expand in Cambodia this year, as the business has “exceeded expectations” since entering the Kingdom’s market in April.

Negotiations on a location for a second outlet in Phnom Penh are due to close in “a matter of weeks”, according to managing director Michael Albert yesterday, signalling growing traction for European-style coffee over the more traditional Vietnamese-style beverages – which are commonly sold by the Kingdom’s street vendors.

According to a snapshot survey from market research group Indochina Research, released to the Post yesterday, the regional coffee and tea market is “facing modernisation and development” as ready-to-drink beverages enter the Kingdom.

A 200-person survey showed 80 percent of Cambodians drink coffee regularly, not far behind the 87 percent who regularly drink tea. Of coffee drinkers, 80 percent said filtered coffee was their main choice, with most saying they brewed it at home, at 44 percent, followed by those who most often buy from street vendors, at 35 percent.

But Chy Sila, general director of CBM Corp, which owns Cambodian coffee chain T&C, said he believed that drinking Western-style coffee would become more common, particularly among the younger people.

“Four years ago the market [for Western-style coffee] was almost non existent,” he said yesterday. “Today the sales ratio [in T&C] of the traditional coffee to Western coffee is 60 to 40. Young teenagers are more interested in new products and what is trendy.”

When T&C first opened seven years ago, it only sold traditional coffee, adding that an indoor, air-conditioned shop dedicated to coffee was quite a novel concept at the time.

Three years later when it introduced Western-style coffee, it pitched it as a drink that was “very popular overseas”.

And the market in the capital has become increasingly competitive.

Luu Meng, director of Dining Capital Cambodia – the company behind indoor coffee house Café Sentiment – said that sales had flattened in the past six to eight months compared to growth experienced by the outlet when it first opened three years ago.

Coffee’s popularity has seen cafés blossoming around the capital.

“We’ve seen about 40 to 50 shops open [in recent months],” he said. “There is a market here, but the market share is being diluted.”



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