Starbucks brews desi flavour at first Indian outlet – Business Line.

Tata Starbucks launched its first flagship store in Mumbai at Elphinstone Building in Fort on Friday. Two smaller stores are slated to open next week at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba and Oberoi mall in Goregaon in Mumbai.

Addressing a press meet, Howard Schultz, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Starbucks Coffee Company, said, “India is a complicated and complex market, but we see it as a big opportunity and are here to build a major business. Clearly, it is a large market and we are committed to building a leadership position here with the help of the Tatas.”

“In every market we enter, we have established ourselves as the super premium brand with top-class quality. We want it to be a value proposition in India and accessible to a whole lot of people,”

CUSTOMIZING TO INDIAN TASTE BUDS – 

The store offers a blend of both International and Indian cuisines with items such as Elaichi Mawa Croissant and Tandoori Paneer Roll.

“The food at Starbucks would be skewed towards the Indian palate. The competition is ferocious here, and we would like to be as accessible as possible with our pricing. We think we have an opportunity to present something different to the customer,” added Schultz. Starbucks is also expected to sell the Tatas-owned Himalayan water brand both in India and in the overseas markets through its stores.

In spite of its premium positioning, Starbucks has tried it to give an ‘affordable’ price to Indian consumers. Its coffee prices range from Rs 80 (for a 30 ml Expresso shot) to Rs 200 (for Caramel Coffee), while the Tata Tazo co-branded teas have been priced from Rs 90 to Rs 130. The regular cappuccino and café lattes range from Rs 95 to Rs 135, while brewed coffee would be a relatively cheaper option (ranging from Rs 85 to Rs 105).

Starbucks has entered into a sourcing and roasting arrangement with Tata Coffee and expects to leverage this association in other markets. “I do believe there are opportunities in the future to take branded coffee from India to other parts of the world,” he said.

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