Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons officially announced on January 9 the new name of its Chinese brand – “Tianhao Coffee” – in Shanghai. This is the first time that the firm has revealed its Chinese name in the past four years since it entered the market, and it also indicates another important market strategy of its local division since listing on the Nasdaq.
As early as 2019, when Tim Hortons entered the Chinese market, the naming of its local brand was on the agenda. The meaning of “Tianhao Coffee” is to bring Chinese consumers “a small cup of good coffee every day.” At the same time, the pinyin initials “TH” of the word “Tianhao” echo Tims China’s listing code “THCH” and the initials of Tim Hortons.
Tims China said that it is speeding up its deployment into more third-and fourth-tier cities in the country. As of October 2022, the number of its coffee stores in China had exceeded 500, and the company plans to open 2,750 stores in China by 2026.
Tims China’s products are almost all developed for the Chinese market, such as a coconut cold brew coffee and a special latte, which are more in line with Chinese consumer habits.
Tims China has also carried out various cooperation with many local partners, such as launching a number of Tims Express stores with Sinopec’s Yijie Coffee, and launching joint coffee products with Alibaba-backed Freshippo.
According to Pangoal Institution, in the long run, when coffee shops develop to a certain stage, the inevitable result is a simple beverage shop or a leisure place that provides catering. According to the current development logic of Tims China, it will likely begin to focus more on providing full meals.
Lu Yongchen, the CEO of Tims China, previously revealed that the advantage of Tims China lies not only in coffee, but in the combination of coffee and food, which is the reason for the rapid growth of its breakfast business in the past few years.
Tims China recently announced its first financial report since listing. In the three months ending September 30, 2022, its total revenue reached 306 million yuan ($45 million), a year-on-year increase of 67.9%, while its net loss was 195 million yuan. It opened 46 new stores in the third quarter, averaging roughly one new store opening every two days.
iiMedia Research predicted that by 2025, the size of the Chinese coffee market will increase from 300 billion yuan in 2020 to 1 trillion yuan. The gradual expansion of the country’s coffee market has ushered local and foreign brands into a period of fierce competition.