Starbucks expands coffee delivery and services in China through tie-up with Meituan

Through a partnership with Meituan, Starbucks has expanded its delivery and online services in China.

Customers ordering through Meituan’s app in China will now have more customization options, according to the US coffee giant. Members of Starbucks Rewards, the company’s customer loyalty programme, will receive the same benefits through the Meituan app as they would through the standard Starbucks app in China.

Additionally, Starbucks stated that this is the “delivery debut” of its Starbucks Reserve line of coffees in China, which the company markets as a more premium product. The two companies have collaborated on more offline experiences.

Users can reserve areas in select stores in China for private events or sign up for any activities organised by a local shop via Meituan’s app. Starbucks said the service is now available in 60 locations across Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Chengdu, with plans to expand further.

Additionally, customers can reserve coffee-tasting workshops.

Starbucks has also launched a feature on Meituan, where each of the coffee giant’s over 5,000 locations in China will have its own page on the food delivery app by the end of the year. Users will be able to order coffee and browse upcoming events and activities in their neighbourhood.

Meituan is China’s largest food delivery platform, with over 660 million active users, potentially expanding Starbucks’ audience. In China, smartphone users prefer so-called “super apps” that combine multiple functions into one. Meituan is one of these applications.

Starbucks’ partnership with Meituan comes as the company faces increasing competition from domestic companies in its largest market outside the United States. Tea-based companies such as HeyTea and local coffee chains such as Manner are gaining traction and attracting significant funding.

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