Posted on by Barista Life

Starbucks announces an exclusive licensed partnership with Taste Holdings for the opening of stores in South Africa, the first in sub‐Saharan Africa

First store will open in Johannesburg in the first half of 2016, with more locations to follow

Starbucks and Taste Holdings will design and build stores serving the entire range of Starbucks food and beverages alongside its advanced digital offer for customers

The partnership will deliver Starbucks great coffee, innovative design and job opportunities

Johannesburg, South Africa, 09:00 SAST 14th July 2015 – Starbucks Coffee Company and Taste Holdings today announced a licensed partnership that will see Starbucks stores open across South Africa. For the first time in Southern Africa, Starbucks will open full‐format stores bringing the entire range of its food and beverages, including its ethically‐sourced Arabica coffee, to South African consumers.

“We are proud to be bringing Starbucks to South Africa next year,” said Kris Engskov, president, Starbucks Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “Working with Taste, our partner, we’re going to deliver a great Starbucks experience. The coffee market here is vibrant and growing fast – we want to be part of that growth, bringing the passion and energy of this remarkable country into the design of our first store and our first barista team. We can’t wait to get started.”

The license agreement sees Taste owning the exclusive rights to develop Starbucks retail outlets in South Africa. As Taste is the licensee, it will own and operate the stores directly.

“We are very excited to be Starbucks partner in Southern Africa. As we’ve visited numerous Starbucks markets and partners around the world we’ve come to realize that we share similar core values, including a commitment to localization and uplifting both direct and indirect partners,” said Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste. “Starbucks supports the development of local suppliers and is fully committed to our Changing Lanes program wherein we have provided employment to previously unemployed people and expose them to global training initiatives and skills. Overall we’re a good partnership match.”

The partnership will see direct job creation opportunities as each Starbucks store opens, in addition to opportunities at the Taste support office in Johannesburg. Taste expects that the indirect impact of skills transfer into South Africa, and the localization opportunities in the supply chain will be material. In addition, Starbucks and Taste have committed to continuing Taste’s Changing Lanes program, employing predominantly from currently unemployed youth directly from the communities in which they trade.

“Young people are the key to our success. The majority of our workforce is aged between 17 and 25 so talented youth has always been a priority and we will equip our new partners with the skills necessary to succeed in today’s economy. We look forward to using our partnership to leverage Taste’s strong track record of creating jobs and developing great people," said Engskov. "Starbucks sources a considerable amount of its global, high‐quality coffee from farms in sub‐Saharan Africa, in partnership with our network of farmer support and agronomy centers in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania. We are proud to be able to offer some of the best African coffees in the world to more customers in the region.”

“We’re looking forward to bringing the entire Starbucks experience to South Africa for the first time. That includes 100% ethically sourced Arabica coffee, Starbucks full menu offering and of course beautiful coffee houses,” Gonzaga concluded.


About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 22,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. Read more at www.news.starbucks.com.

About Taste Holdings

Taste Holdings is a South African-based management group and a leading licensor of global brands in the Southern African region. It owns and licenses a portfolio of franchised and owned, category specialists, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) and retail brands currently represented in five countries in Southern Africa. Its food division has a 30-year master license agreement for Domino’s Pizza in Southern Africa. It also owns, operates and franchises Zebro’s Chicken, The Fish & Chip Co, Maxi’s Restaurants, Scooters Pizza and St Elmo’s Woodfired Pizza. The food Cardivision is vertically integrated; it owns retail outlets; it manufactures sauces, spices, premixes, added value meat products as well as fresh dough. It then distributes these and most other products from its own distribution centers using its own fleet of multi-temperature vehicles. Its luxury goods division is underpinned by three owned retail brands – NWJ, Arthur Kaplan and World’s Finest Watches. It too is vertically integrated, owning more than 60% of the retail outlets as well as a design studio and jewellery manufacturing and distribution facility that manufactures approximately 40% of NWJ Jewellery. NWJ is the third largest national jewellery chain by store numbers in the region. Arthur Kaplan and World’s Finest Watches are, together, the leading retailers of luxury Swiss watch brands in the region. This includes watch brands such as Rolex, Breitling, Omega, Tag Heuer, Longines and Rado. Arthur Kaplan also retails luxury fine jewellery in collections under the Arthur Kaplan brand. Taste is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) under the symbol “TAS”. www.tasteholdings.co.za