You may not know it, but there is a revolution going on in China right now - over coffee.
There are plenty of Starbucks ($SBUX) locations in the country, and it's getting some fierce competition from the most unlikely of names. We reported on Luckin Coffee ($LK) taking over the country in both stores and popularity. And we also wrote about the lightning fast rise in OYO Hotels, which started in India as a startup and has now taken over Asia as the top dog.
So with recent news that Sinopec ($SHA:600028), the single biggest gas station name in China, is getting into the coffee business, we had to take a step back and look at all of this (because when we think coffee, we don't think petroleum and chemicals). It's not just the fact that all these companies are trying to get a foothold with a premium coffee brand, it's how they plan to do it.
Sinopec Easy Convenience Stores launched its EasyJet Coffee brand earlier this month. The slow switch from gas, a non-renewable resource, to coffee, which we hope does not get affected by global warming, makes sense in the long run. And OYO ($PRIVATE:OYOROOMS) will use its hotels to serve its new "The French Press" coffee, and open up 50 shops on top of that.
Can you imagine the following charts once the coffee shops open in all of Asia a year from now? It's going to dominate the conversation as long as it's hot and ready for people when they wake up in an OYO hotel.
Twitter follows doubled in two years, and Facebook buzz on all counts almost tripled. It's staggering how much mindshare they continue to grab all over the web.
For the sake of total objectivity and clarity, I am the only editor who does not drink coffee in the office so I have no real dog in this fight. If they were making coffee ice cream though...
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