Globalizing Coffee Culture: The Case of Starbucks

  • Kai-Ingo Voigt
  • Oana Buliga
  • Kathrin Michl
Part of the Management for Professionals book series (MANAGPROF)


In the early 1970s, the U.S.A. was the largest coffee consuming country in the world, offering an enormous market potential for new entrants. However, a few large established players were already dominating the market, for instance Procter & Gamble. During the 1960s, P&G took over its competitor, Folgers Coffee Company, and started to distribute coffee under this brand nationally. Soon after, Folgers became the top U.S. coffee brand. Yet the business models of P&G and Folgers were fully different from the one envisioned by Starbucks: the incumbents saw coffee as a beverage like any other. Their value proposition was instant and roasted coffee, sold in supermarkets, and intended for home brewing. No efforts were put into establishing a genuine coffee culture, for which Starbucks later became renowned. Americans of that time also did not view coffee shops in the sense of a community, or as a socializing possibility, and Italian-style coffee bars were barely known on the home market. Schultz sensed this as an opportunity to create a place for social interaction, and the high customer numbers enjoyed by the Starbucks stores from the beginning confirmed his intuition.


Business Model Coffee Bean Coffee Shop Instant Coffee Rainforest Alliance 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai-Ingo Voigt
    • 1
  • Oana Buliga
    • 1
  • Kathrin Michl
    • 1
  1. 1.Chair of Industrial ManagementFriedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-NürnbergNürnbergGermany

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