SINGAPORE — Tim Hortons Asia-Pacific has entered an exclusive agreement with Marubeni Growth Capital Asia (MGCA) to launch its cafes across Singapore. The two companies are also in discussions to expand their collaboration to Malaysia and Indonesia. With the partnership, Tim Hortons is gearing up to tap the post-pandemic revival of the estimated $2-billion coffee and tea-shop market in the three Southeast Asian countries, says GlobalData.
The move is in line with Restaurant Brands International’s plans to diversify its geographic base and expand its Tim Hortons brand across Southeast Asia. The partnership also marks the expansion of the Japanese trading conglomerate, Marubeni, into the foodservice business. Marubeni aims to leverage its existing retail network in Southeast Asia and the MGCA platform under its newly established Next Generation Corporate Development Division to rapidly scale up Tim Hortons’ café chain in the three countries.
“Tim Hortons and Marubeni aim to capitalize on the blossoming coffee culture in Southeast Asia, fuelled by the rapid urbanization and westernization,” says Bobby Verghese, consumer analyst at GlobalData. Multinational and regional coffee and tea-shop chains have proliferated across the top cities in the region, offering students and white-collar workers a convenient spot for business meetings and social gatherings alike.”
“Influenced by Western lifestyles, Asian youth are getting accustomed to grabbing a ready-to-drink coffee en route to college or office or dropping by a nearby café during coffee breaks. Coffee and tea are quickly replacing alcohol as a social lubricant, especially in countries with a sizable Muslim population, such as Malaysia and Indonesia,” says Tim Hill, key account manager at GlobalData. “GlobalData’s Q4 2022 consumer survey affirms this, as about 42 to 46 per cent of the Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore survey respondents said that they ordered food at least once a week from coffee and tea shops over the last quarter. In contrast, only about 18 to 19 per cent of respondents from the three countries said the same about ordering food from pubs, clubs, or bars.”