Full Cardboard Jacket: Vietnam Coffee King’s War On Starbucks

Will Trung Nguyen be bigger than Starbucks? Dang Le Nguyen Vu, Vietnam’s “Coffee King”, is aiming for a robust(a) global expansion of his Vietnam-based coffee brand. And he’s not afraid to bird dog and mean mug on Starbucks while he works to reach that goal. Via Reuters:

“Our ambition is to become a global brand,” the chairman of privately-owned Trung Nguyen told Reuters.

“They are great at implanting a story in consumers’ minds but if we look into the core elements of Starbucks, what they are doing is terrible. They are not selling coffee, they are selling coffee-flavored water with sugar in it,” he said.

Trung Nguyen also runs Vietnam’s biggest chain of coffee houses, and Vu has his pitch ready for the Western market.

“American consumers don’t need another product. They need another story,” he said, adding that his company aimed to improve the lives of people in Vietnam’s coffee-growing highland region, a link he sees lacking in larger rivals.

“They sing great songs about sustainable development but at the end of the day, the return on investment is what they care about. They don’t grow coffee, do they? We do.

Wethinks the King has a myopic purview, because Starbucks is totes developing new coffee growing regions in China for their own shnizz. But still, it’s a battle of the kings! Schultz v. Dang Le Nguyen Vu, and not just in a court of law, but in the squared circle, facing off, no holds barred, battle royale, Hell in the Cell, all flying hammerlocks and aerial moves (Nguyen) and piledrivers coupled with the dreaded submission suplex (Schultz). Who will win?

Should Starbucks prepare for war in Vietnam, or will Schultz let Saigons be Saigons? Can Nguyen win the hearts and grinds of his greatest pho? Glegh!