Starbucks and the Assimilation of American Culture

"In China, Starbucks is a place to sit back and relax."

“In China, Starbucks is a place to sit back and relax.”

Last week in my blog post I mentioned how rapidly Starbucks was developing and becoming a major industry in China (its second largest market exists in China!). I’ve decided that focusing specifically on Starbucks and not several different food chains would give my research better depth, so I’ve dropped Mcdonalds from the project.

I just recently read an article pertaining to Starbucks, and similar to last week’s article it described its massive growth. However, it also pointed out several key factors which possibly permit this rapid expansion into China.Coffee itself, the article claims, is not the major reason for Starbucks popularity.  As the picture (also from the article) on the right reflects, it’s a place of leisure.

This week I’m trying to narrow down the consumer culture within the Starbucks themselves, both in China and the United States. When doing a quick analysis of a Starbucks in the United States, it’s evident that although the environment of the restaurant can be nice to sit down for 10-15 minutes while you drink your beverage, it’s certainly not meant for any major duration of time to be spent there. Being a typical American Starbucks goer, I almost always go for the coffee, not the environment. What strikes me as fascinating, is that the article actually conveys the opposite ideas about Starbucks in China; people go for the environment.

My research is focused specifically on determining why Starbucks itself is so alluring to the Chinese. Although the article maintains that it’s “a place to sit back and relax”, I want to delve deeper into that. Does the restaurant itself represent Western trends, and popular culture that the Chinese seek? Or is it simply because the restaurant is a change-up from one’s daily lifestyle in China. According to the article, both of these seem to play a role in the periphery.

 

Here’s a link if you’d like access to the article! –  http://adage.com/china/article/china-news/can-starbucks-make-china-love-coffee/238101/