Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New coffee chain to enter packed market

New coffee chain to enter packed market

New coffee chain to enter packed market

South Korea-based coffee chain Caffé Bene plans to open a Phnom Penh shop in in October, making it the latest entrant into a crowded market with numerous international and local coffee chains all angling to caffeinate Cambodia’s rising middle class.

General manager of Caffé Bene in Cambodia, Jinsil Lee, said yesterday that construction is in progress and the shop will open in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Keng Kang 1 area, already a bastion of pricey coffee and tea options.

There is still potential for a new player, however, because “the economic level [in Cambodia] is rising”, she said.

The store will differentiate itself from other coffee chains through “specialities from Korea”, she said, adding that they are concentrating on specialty desserts.

Caffé Bene announced in January that it was on the hunt for staff. The store was initially planned near Central Market on Monivong Boulevard, where a sign still hangs on the side of a building that seems to be under renovation.

Rami Sharaf, CEO of the parent company controlling Express Food Group, the local owner of UK-based chain Costa Coffee, said he isn’t overly worried about the extra competition.

The way he sees it, customers are becoming more willing to pay two or three dollars for their cup of coffee.

Two more Costa Coffee branches are expected to open next month, he said: one along the riverside near the Royal Palace, and a second on a Phnom Penh university campus. In November, it plans to open a fourth branch in Vattanac tower.

Despite the presence of international brands such as Costa or Gloria Jean’s Coffees, a number of local chains such as Brown and T&C have held their ground.

“Local brands can do well as long as they can deliver a product with a consistent quality and the right ambiance,” said Karl Johan Remoy, general manager of Indochina Research (Cambodia) Ltd.

“It is not only about the coffee. In Phnom Penh, controlling service levels can be challenging considering the difficulty of finding qualified staff. International brands with their global training programs may have to rethink their staffing strategies to stay competitive,” he said.

Remoy said Cambodian-owned Brown, a local brand with Khmer-style design, is still the most popular coffee shop town.

“Looking at their followers on Facebook they have over 45,000 likes and 1,300 people talking about them. In contrast, Costa Coffee has 10,000 followers and 500 people talking about them.”

Kouch Sokly, managing director of CBM Corporation Co Ltd, the company that owns local chain T&C, said they have a different target group than international brands, and for that reason, do not see the newcomer cutting into their businesses.


  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

    Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them. Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway