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Starbucks finds partner to open first South African coffee shops
[JOHANNESBURG] Starbucks coffee shops are coming to South Africa after the world leader partnered with local franchiser Taste Holdings.
The two companies have signed an exclusive agreement to develop Starbucks outlets in the country, Johannesburg-based Taste Holdings said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The coffee market here is vibrant and growing fast -- we want to be part of that growth," Kris Engskov, president of Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in the statement.
Restaurant chains, retailers and consumer-goods companies are expanding in sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of middle- class households has tripled since 2010, according to Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group. Pizza Hut returned to South Africa last year after a seven-year absence to compete with Domino's Pizza, which is operated by Taste Holdings.
Starbucks has about 22,000 locations worldwide and has been focused on expansion abroad in countries including China and India. In Africa, while much of the continent's fast-food industry is homegrown, about 34.8 million people are expected to buy meals from such restaurants in South Africa by 2017, up from 31 million now, according to Euromonitor International.