Laxman’s Letter to Partners: Our China Coffee Innovation Park exemplifies what we can achieve globally


Today we proudly opened our China Coffee Innovation Park (CIP), located in the city of Kunshan, about an hour from Shanghai. The opening of this remarkable facility - a first for us globally - reinforces our long-term commitment to investing in our growth in China as well as our strategy to become a truly global company.

As I reflect on the day with our China partners and leadership team, I want to share with you a few highlights to help give you a real sense of the experience we’re building here: 

  • the only Starbucks coffee manufacturing and distribution center designed to meet LEED Platinum standards;  
  • includes an immersive Experience Center soon to be open to the public, showcasing sustainability practices and innovations at every stage of the ‘Bean to Cup’ coffee journey;  
  • the 80,000 square meter facility features the most advanced roasting technology in the Starbucks global network;  and
  • includes an Integrated Distribution Center – the most automated in Starbucks global network. It uses advanced automation technologies to handle over 90 percent of the facility’s distribution volume.

Today, we have over 6,500 stores across China and counting, and yet the average person in China drinks around 12 cups of coffee a year, compared to about 200 in Japan or 380 in the US – presenting clear runway for a growing coffee drinking culture in one of the world’s largest consumer markets.

The China coffee culture is clearly in the early chapters of its story. This is why each element of our CIP is designed to showcase our coffee heritage, unlock efficiencies, reduce waste, and strengthen and scale our technology to further elevate our customer and partner experience and differentiate us in the market. Our investment in the CIP will support our growth, as we expand from over 6,500 stores in the China market today, to 9,000 by 2025.  This will be complemented by 4,000 “We Proudly Serve” Starbucks Coffee Foodservice sites.

Today is a reminder of our new mission at Starbucks and who we are when we are at our best. It is our partner promise to help bridge to a better future; for our customers, we promise to uplift the everyday; for our farmers, we promise to ensure the future of coffee for all; for our community, we promise to contribute positively; for our environment, we promise to give more than we take; in doing all these things, for our shareholders we generate long-term returns. Our China Coffee Innovation Park is an excellent example of the intersection of Starbucks partners living these promises, and our limitless possibilities, globally. 

Thank you to every partner involved in the creation of our new CIP – from ideation and inception to the behind-the-scenes technology development, facility construction, and day-to-day operations of the facility. We are eager for CIP to inspire new partners and customers to engage with our brand as we work towards a greener future together.