International Coffee Shop Franchises play an important role in shaping the Australian Coffee Culture

            The Australian coffee culture has experienced tremendous growth since World War II when the Europeans arrived in the country, marking a significant shift in the country’s beverage consumption that once had a high preference for tea (Brien & Adams, 2012). The global café and coffee culture has gradually entrenched among Australian consumers who consume approximately “1.8 billion espresso based coffees away from home to a value of $7.3 billion” (FIForesight.com, 2017). The expansion of coffee consumption as a result of the “globalization of consumer culture, growing appreciation of high-quality coffee, and the public’s eager acceptance of causal spots to study, relax, socialize, or pick up an energizing drink” (Tucker, 2011) have facilitated the development of the Australian coffee culture. As a result, its consumption is of immense value and potential which has necessitated the need for great brewing that facilitated the development of small independently owned and owner-operated cafés. The entry of franchises into the Australian coffee market has been enhanced by low entry barriers, a fragmented market, and low market penetration. According to the IBISWorld’s Cafés and Coffee Shops market research, “95% of all the 6,500 cafés and coffee shops in Australia are independently owned” (IBIS World, as cited in Baskerville, 2013). However, the penetration of coffee franchises into the Australian coffee market continues and brings competition to the independent coffee shops. In response to the impact, the independent coffee shops have to undertake strategies to address the competition. This study examines the impact of coffee franchises on shaping the Australian coffee culture. It also aims to discuss the strategies undertaken by independent cafés to counter the influence of the coffee franchises penetrating the market thereby increasing competition.             The Australian coffee culture is described as “mature and sophisticated” (Patterson et al., 2010). Sources note that the style of espresso coffee was created in Australia by the Italian immigrants post-world war II that influenced the vast population of Australian consumers (Wheeler, n.d.). The Australian obsession with coffee began that gave a gradual rise to small independent cafés in the Australian consumer market…

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