Starbucks in Medellín opened its sixth coffee shop in the city on November 2, 2017, which is located in Laureles. U.S.-based chains like Starbucks continue to expand in Medellín due to demand and success. But it seems like some expats may not like this.
Papa John’s is another U.S.-based chain that opened a new location in Laureles in September 2017, which is very close to the new Starbucks.
As of October 2018, Starbucks has 30 coffee shops in Colombia: 17 in Bogotá and eight in Medellín and five in Cali. According to a report in the El Colombiano newspaper in 2016, Starbucks planned to have up to 10 coffee shops in Medellín by the end of 2017. But they are behind that schedule.
Note the above photo is the sixth Starbucks in Medellín, which is located in Laureles. Also, this article was updated in October 2018 to add Starbucks’ eighth location in the Medellin metro area.
Starbucks in Medellín Opens its Sixth Coffee Shop
Starbucks in Medellín opened its sixth coffee shopon November 2, 2017, which is located in Laureles. It’s the company’s first coffee shop in Medellín that isn’t located in El Poblado.
The new Starbucks in Laureles is a large two-story coffee shop. The second floor looked to already have some digital nomads there on the first day it was open using the free Wifi.
Starbucks in Medellín opened its first coffee shop on September 1, 2016. And in December last year it opened two more coffee shops located in the Santafé and Oviedo malls in El Poblado. Earlier this year Starbucks opened two more coffee shops. Its fourth coffee shop is located on Avenida Poblado in the One Plaza building. And in June it opened one in Tesoro mall for its fifth location.
Most noteworthy, it took Starbucks only 14 months to open six coffee shops in Medellín. So, they are clearly serious about this market.
But Starbucks didn’t open their seventh coffee shop in the Medellín area for almost a year, which opened in October 2018 in the new Viva Envigado mall.
The Menu at Starbucks in Medellín
The menu at the newest Starbucks coffee shop located Laureles includes Coffee, Espresso, Teas, Hot Chocolate and Frappuccino, just like the other Starbucks in Medellín
Prices the new coffee shop are as follows. Black coffee (tinto) comes in three sizes ranging in prices from 4,200 pesos to 5,200 pesos. And an American Espresso costs 4,600 pesos for a small, 5,100 pesos for a medium and 5,600 pesos for a large.
Hot Chocolate costs 7,900 pesos for a small, 8,400 pesos for a medium and 8,900 pesos for a large. And Caramel Frappuccino costs 9,800 pesos for a small, 10,700 pesos for a medium and 11,400 pesos for a large.
Furthermore, Green tea latte costs 8,800 pesos for a small, 9,300 pesos for a medium and 10,200 pesos for a large.
Starbucks in Latin America
Starbucks is a large company with over 25,000 retail shops located in over 65 countries globally. The company has been in Latin America since 2002, starting out in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Especially relevant, the company now has nearly 1,100 coffee shops in 15 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since Starbucks opened its first coffee shop in Mexico 15 years ago, the company has grown to over 600 locations in Mexico.
Starbucks entered the Colombian market on July 14, 2014 with its first coffee shop in Bogotá. I happened to be in Bogotá two weeks after this first coffee shop in Colombia opened and it still was busy.
The company reportedly plans to have a total of 50 coffee shops in Colombia by 2019 but they look to be behind schedule. In addition, it expects to have generated up to 1,000 jobs when this goal of 50 stores is completed.
Starbucks in the Colombian market is a joint venture with Alsea and Grupo Nutresa. Alsea is a restaurant operator in Latin America running several brands including Burger King, Cheesecake Factory, Chili’s, Domino’s Pizza and P.F Chang’s.
Starbucks’ coffee shops in Colombia serve 100 percent local Colombia-sourced and roasted coffee for in-store beverages. This is due to the country’s coffee heritage and the company’s 45-year history of sourcing premium arabica coffee from Colombia.
In Colombia, Starbucks primarily competes with Juan Valdéz with over 200 stores in the country. Juan Valdéz has stores in 16 additional countries including the United States.
How to Get to Starbucks in Medellín
Starbucks in Medellín has eight locations as of October 2018, listed below:
- El Poblado: Carrera 43A #3 Sur-92
- El Poblado: Carrera 43A #6 Sur-15 local 134 (Oviedo mall)
- El Poblado: Carrera 43A #7 Sur – 170 (Santafé mall)
- El Poblado: Carrera 43A #5a-99, One Plaza
- El Poblado: Calle 10A # 35-54
- El Poblado: Carrera 25A No. 1A Sur 45, local 1001 (El Tesoro mall)
- Laureles: Avenida 74B #39B-6
- Envigado: Carrera 48 # 32B Sur-139, Envigado, 1st floor (Viva Envigado mall)
Papa John’s Also Opened in Laureles
When I went to the Starbucks in Laureles shortly after it opened, I noticed that a Papa John’s pizza place had opened nearby at Avenida 74B # 39B-62. I went in and asked when it opened and they said this new Papa John’s in Laureles opened in September 2017. It’s the fourth Papa John’s in Medellín. And it has two stories.
Which U.S.-based Chain is Next for Medellín?
Medellín has several U.S.-based chain restaurants and fast food places and some have been expanding in the city for several years. Here’s a list of these chains with counts of locations in November 2017 in the Medellín metro area:
- Burger King – 9
- Domino’s – 14
- Dunkin’ Donuts – 23
- Hard Rock Café – 1
- Hooters – 1
- KFC – 6
- Krispy Kreme – 3 (but all 3 locations closed on December 1, 2018 when Krispy Kreme closed all its stores in Colombia)
- McDonald’s – 12
- Papa John’s – 4
- Starbucks – 6
- Subway – 78
- Wingzone – 1
That is a total of 158 U.S.-based chain restaurants and fast food locations in Medellín in November 2017. This count grew by 11 locations since July 2017.
Yet Bogotá has even more due to being a much bigger city. Most noteworthy, Bogotá has several U.S.-based chain restaurants that aren’t available yet in Medellín, including Chili’s, Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays, P.F. Changs and Taco Bell.
I believe that we may see another U.S.-based chain enter the market in Medellín over the next year or two. And this likely will be a U.S.-based chain that is already operating in Bogotá.
The Bottom Line: Starbucks and Other U.S. Chains Expanding
Seems like several expats in Medellín I talked to recently don’t like seeing U.S.-based chain restaurants and fast food places coming to Medellín and continuing to expand in the city. But keep in mind these chains are bringing many jobs to the city. And they wouldn’t be expanding if they weren’t successful.
Also, many U.S.-based chains are expanding globally, as the U.S. market is pretty saturated. And they are coming to Medellín due to the size of the city and primarily coming for Colombian customers. There are nearly 4 million Colombians in the Medellín metro, which are who these chains are primarily targeting.
There aren’t that many expats in Medellín (perhaps several thousand). In addition, you would have to go to a much smaller town than Medellín to not see these U.S.-based chains.
There are also some good independent coffee shops in Medellín, we previously looked at the 6 best coffee shops in El Poblado.
Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.
Editors note: updated on October 6, 2018 to add Starbucks’ eighth coffee shop in the Medellín metro area located the new Viva Envigado mall.
Editors note: updated on December 4, 2018 with information that Krispy Kreme closed all its stores in Colombia on December 1, 2018.