Accepted paper:

Coffee: the taste of globalization? Insights of the coffee market in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan


Paulina Simkin (University of Augsburg)
Joachim Rathmann
Andreas Schlagbauer (University of Augsburg)

Paper abstract:

Global players such as Starbucks Coffee can initiate globalization processes. Some markets are not sufficiently attractive for global players that holds true for Kyrgyzstan and its capital Bishkek. For us, Kyrgyzstan draws as an example for other comparatively small economies, where rather local actors than global players carry out processes of global movements. A recent trend can be observed, that coffee consumption patterns are changing and coffee becomes part of daily live. Within twelve years, cafes and coffee-to-go stalls mushroomed in the center and upmarket residential areas. Even Russian and Kazak cafe chains opened branches in Bishkek in 2016 and 2017. In comparison to the living costs, prices for coffee in a cafe are rather high. The gap between the financial resources, the widespread tradition of drinking tea in Central Asia, and the fast increasing numbers of cafes and points of sale for coffee is intriguing. The aim of the study is to analyze the impact of globalization on coffee consumption patterns and social places to consume it. We analyze the emerging coffee market by focusing on consumption patterns of Bishkek┬┤s citizen with enhanced interest on youth and young adults since they are in the foreground of globalization processes and grown up in a transforming market. This study is mainly based on secondary data and a standardized survey conducted in Bishkek in 2016. For most participants soluble coffee or coffee bought in cafes established in their daily life and is often associated with positive feelings. Young adults are the main consumer group. Cafes are primarily used as a place for meetings and communication. Coffee sold in cafes attract only a smaller group of participants, who are willing to pay for the quality of the product. Although most of the persons questioned arguing that visiting cafes is an expensive enjoyment, the development of the market points to a movement, where coffee and cafes seem to anchor in social and business life.

panel ECO-02
Trade, Globalization and Environment