Starbucks: like Vegemite, you either love it or hate it — and in Australia, Vegemite tends to get the big thumbs up, while Starbucks tends to get the big thumbs down.
Starbucks has tried and failed to break into the Australian coffee market and racked up some truly eye-watering losses doing it.
This goes against the grain of the American coffee chain’s rampaging success elsewhere in the world. It’s opened thousands of stores in China and across Asia and is even having a tilt at Italy, the home of espresso and café culture. [http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35728428]
The team here at the Feedmee App HQ loves its coffee and we all have our favourite cafes, brews and styles. So it begs the question — why are there no Starbucks in Perth? The simple answer would be that we are coffee snobs! But we think it’s a bit more complex than that…
Perth people prefer European-style coffee
The waves of immigrants from European nations like Italy and Greece firmly established a European-style coffee culture in Perth, roasting and grinding beans and making sophisticated brews.
These days there are vibrant, creative cafes everywhere in Perth offering high quality, stylish coffees for good prices.
This coffee culture has grown organically over many years — and it leaves little room for a chain like Starbucks to suddenly plonk itself down and sell something different.
There are already coffee chains in the mix
Another factor that could stop Starbucks getting into Perth’s coffee culture is the existence of coffee chains like Dome and Gloria Jeans that sell European-style coffee matched to local tastes. Heck, even McDonalds has a European-style café service!
Starbucks tends to sell American-style drip coffee and drinks heavy on syrup, cream and sugar. This stands in marked contrast to the flat whites, long macchiato, espressos and Americanos that Perth’s coffee drinkers prefer.
So, if Starbucks were to launch in Perth, it would probably have to alter its menu to cater to local tastes.
Local cafes have loyal followers
There is an element of truth to us being coffee snobs in Perth. We all know how we like our coffee done, and part of the fun of going to a café is knowing the barista and trusting they will make your brew right.
This creates a great sense of loyalty and even friendship — making great coffee is a precious skill that is held in high regard in Perth and people will queue around the block to get their fix.
Australians know good coffee and have created a dynamic, stylish and delicious coffee culture across the land. Starbucks is welcome to have a crack at it too, but don’t be surprised if the little laneway store around the corner is doing all the business.