Tim Hortons teams up with Alibaba to woo Chinese coffee drinkers

Tim Hortons teams up with Alibaba to woo Chinese coffee drinkers
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a store front poster advertising the opening of a cafe of the Canadian coffee and fast food chain Tim Hortons in Beijing, China, July 6, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) – The operator of Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons in China said on Thursday it had forged a two-year partnership with Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group’s grocery chain that will see the two launch co-branded products.

E-commerce giant Alibaba’s Freshippo will begin sales next month at its stores, of which it has more than 300, as well as through its official app, it said in a statement. Products will include drinks such as Velvet Cocoa Coffee.

Tims China, whose backers include Tencent Holdings (OTC:TCEHY), opened its 500th outlet in China last month and has set its sights on having a “profitable network” of 2,750 stores in the country by 2026.

Even so it would still lag Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), the dominant foreign coffee brand in China with 6,000 stores and which also has a wide-ranging partnership with Alibaba.

Tims China was founded in 2019 by Cartesian Capital Group and Canada’s Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR), which also owns the Burger King and Popeyes brands in addition to Tim Hortons.

Source: Reuters