Starbucks is the largest coffee chain in the world, with 33,669 stores in 83 countries, and its revenues are way ahead of rivals such as Dunkin’ Donuts and McCafé.
However, because Starbucks operates in so many different markets and has so many products, it also has many competitors. If you’d like to learn more about Starbucks’ competition, keep reading!
Who Are Starbucks’ Competitors?
Starbucks’ leading competitors are Dunkin’ Donuts and McCafé, though these companies lag behind in terms of market share. Other rivals in various markets include Tim Hortons, Costa Coffee, Cafe Nero, Folgers, and Maxwell House. Additionally, small chains like Peet’s Coffee and local neighborhood coffee houses offer competition in some locations.
If you’d like to know more about Starbucks’ competitors, including Dunkin’ Donuts, McCafe, and more, keep reading for more useful facts!
1. Dunkin’ Donuts
Dunkin’ Donuts is an American coffee chain that is Starbucks’ closest competitor in the US, Canada, and a few other markets.
The company was started in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1950 and still has the blue-collar feel of the city, which is very different from the upscale Starbucks ambiance.
Nowadays, Dunkin’ Donuts has over 12,900 stores around the world in 42 countries and is the fourth-largest coffee chain in the world.
The company has followed almost the opposite growth model from Starbucks, which has no franchises, while nearly all Dunkin’ stores in the US are franchises.
Nevertheless, Dunkin’ Donuts remains way behind Starbucks in revenue, reporting $1.37 billion in 2019, compared to Starbucks’ $23.5 billion in 2020.
McCafe at McDonald’s is another Starbucks competitor in the coffee and coffee drinks space. The McCafe concept was introduced in Australia in 1993 and now has over 15,000 stores worldwide.
McCafé is a coffee house space within McDonald’s restaurants, serving espresso coffee and coffee-based drinks, as well as the regular McDonald’s menu.
3. Costa Coffee
Costa Coffee is the largest coffee chain in the UK, with over 3,800 stores located in 32 countries. Currently, Costa Coffee is the second-largest coffee chain in the world after Starbucks.
Costa Coffee was started in London in 1971 by two Italian brothers, Bruno and Sergio Costa, and like Starbucks, they originally supplied roasted coffee beans to other stores.
Nowadays, the Costa menu includes coffee, hot and cold drinks, sweet and savory snacks, sandwiches, and seasonal holiday drinks.
However, while Costa Coffee is Starbucks’ largest competitor outside the US, it does not have any stores located within the US.
4. Cafe Nero
Cafe Nero is the largest coffeehouse chain in Europe and now has over a thousand stores in 11 countries located throughout Europe and Asia.
The Cafe Nero menu includes hot and iced coffees, pastries, breakfast-all-day sandwiches, fruit juice, and smoothies.
Additionally, menu items will often reflect the local tastes of each community.
5. Cafe Ritazza
Cafe Ritazza is another London-based coffee chain and is billed as great coffee for people on the go.
You will find Cafe Ritazza food and beverage outlets in airports, train stations, shopping areas, campuses, and hospitals in 30 countries around the world.
The company’s menu is mostly inspired by Italian-style cafes and includes coffee, snacks, sandwiches, pastries, and alcoholic drinks.
However, while Cafe Ritazza is a direct competitor to Starbucks in many markets, it operates on a much smaller scale.
6. Cafe Coffee Day
Cafe Coffee Day is an Indian chain with stores at 500 locations around the country. Its coffee is grown on company-owned plantations in South India, ensuring a supply of high-quality coffee beans for each store.
Coffees include classics like lattes, espresso, cappuccino, and South Indian filter coffee.
The Cafe Coffee Day menu has substantial food offerings as well, such as burgers, sandwiches, rice dishes, and classic desserts.
7. Coffee Republic
Coffee Republic is a UK-based coffee chain that now operates in 128 locations globally.
The chain was started in 1995 by the brother and sister team of Bobby and Sahar Hashemi, and the menu includes coffee, hot and cold drinks, healthy sandwiches, salads, and pastries.
8. Tim Hortons
Tim Hortons is a Canadian cafe chain and Starbucks’ most important rival in the Canadian market. Currently, Tim Hortons holds around 54% of the Canadian market share.
Besides coffee, the menu at Tim Hortons includes doughnuts, sandwiches, soups, and a number of other baked goods and hot foods.
9. Folgers and Maxwell House
Because Starbucks also sells coffee beans, ground coffee, k cups, and instant coffee, it competes in this market with grocery store coffee brands like Folgers and Maxwell House.
Both of these companies are household names in the US, even though neither operates coffee houses.
Rather, Folgers and Maxwell House are seen by customers as more everyday and less expensive alternatives to buying Starbucks coffee for use at home.
10. Luckin Coffee
Though the company opened only in 2017, this Chinese coffee chain is Starbucks’ biggest competitor in China.
With over 4,500 kiosks across the country, it has more locations there than Starbucks. Many of these locations are small take-out or delivery kiosks that are appreciated for their convenience.
Luckin Coffee has had a mixed success story, however, and was forced to file for bankruptcy in the US in 2021, thus reducing Starbucks’ US-based competition.
11. Peet’s Coffee
Peet’s Coffee is a small but significant competitor to Starbucks in some locations. Peet’s Coffee operates retail stores and also sells packaged coffee through grocery stores and other outlets such as online stores.
12. Neighborhood Coffee Houses
While Starbucks was initially accused of putting small neighborhood coffee shops out of business, it has had the opposite effect.
Introducing Americans to good coffee generated more interest in specialty coffees, resulting in the number of neighborhood coffee houses growing in recent years.
In many areas, local coffee houses offer strong competition to Starbucks as an alternative place to meet, relax, or work while enjoying a great cup of coffee.
Lavazza has a number of retail coffee shops in various countries, including the US and UK, and while it can’t compete with Starbucks for size, Lavazza does offer customers an alternative in the premium coffee market.
Additionally, Lavazza sells packaged coffee in grocery and online stores and, as a premium product, is in direct competition with Starbucks.