NANJING, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Global beverage chain Starbucks opened a new coffee innovation park in east China's Jiangsu Province on Tuesday.
The Starbucks China Coffee Innovation Park (CIP), with an investment value of about 220 million U.S. dollars, is the company's largest manufacturing and distribution investment outside the United States, the company said.
Located in the city of Kunshan, about a one-hour drive from Shanghai, the park covers an area of about 80,000 square meters and incorporates a roasting plant, an integrated distribution center, and an immersive experience center. Starbucks said the CIP fulfills its "from-bean-to-cup" vertical integration across one market -- a first for the company globally.
"As one of the largest consumer markets in the world, China presents tremendous opportunities for Starbucks," said Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, at the launch ceremony.
Belinda Wong, chairwoman and CEO of Starbucks China, said the park's immersive experience center will further elevate China's specialty coffee industry with a multi-sensory showcase of the coffee journey.
Starbucks entered the Chinese mainland in 1999 and currently has a market footprint of over 6,500 stores across more than 250 Chinese cities. The company aims to operate 9,000 stores across 300 Chinese cities by 2025. ■