Pictures of a new “Maners Coffee” store located in Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre were posted on November 21 on Xiaohongshu, a popular Chinese lifestyle-sharing platform. Apart from a slight change in its name, the logo is consistent with that of mainland chain Manner Coffee.
According to social media images, the store is now in a state of renovation, and the words “Maners Coffee” and “originated from Manner” are displayed on the enclosure. The name difference is likely due to an issue with local brand name registration. “Hello Hong Kong” is also marked under the enclosure, and the coffee cup pattern used in the picture is similar to that used in mainland China.
Judging from Manner’s official website and official WeChat account, the brand doesn’t seem to have promoted its opening of a shop in Hong Kong. If it goes well, Manner will be the first coffee brand from mainland China to open a location in Hong Kong.
Manner opened in Shanghai in 2015, focusing on small stores and high cost performance. The price of a single cup of coffee is between 15 yuan and 20 yuan ($2 – $2.7), which is 50% lower than Starbucks. Its stores are mainly located near office buildings, and there is no in-store seating.
Manner’s expansion plans mainly depend on strong support from venture capital. In 2018, Manner received 80 million yuan from Capital Today. From December 2020 to May 2021, Manner received financing from H Capital, Temasek and Meituan-backed Long-Z. In May 2021, Capital Today withdrew from Manner’s shareholder list, and in June 2021, ByteDance became a new investor.
Due to the limited space needed for its stores, methods of reducing costs and improving efficiency, as well as coffee with high cost performance, Manner has seized upon China’s growing coffee consumption trend. At the same time, the country’s convenient catering and food delivery industries have developed rapidly since the onset of the pandemic, benefiting small coffee shops that focus on take-out services.
There has been a similar trend in Hong Kong. Since the pandemic started, international travel has been restricted, causing Hong Kong consumers pay more attention to local entertainment options. The coffee market in Hong Kong has grown full of low-priced coffee shops in recent years. According to Statista, the coffee market in Hong Kong was about $1.586 billion in 2021, and is expected to grow by 5.4% every year throughout the next five years.
In addition, Flash Coffee, known as Singapore’s “Luckin Coffee,” also accelerated its pace of seizing the market since the start of the pandemic. This brand, which focuses on coffee delivery and snacks and relies on a digital ordering system, has quickly taken market shares since entering Hong Kong last year. In November of last year, it rented a store of less than 30 square meters at a monthly rent of HK$100,000. Up to now, the brand has established more than 10 stores in Hong Kong.