People & Power
Coffee in Cairo
Starbucks is launching its first chain in Cairo. But can it replace traditional Egyptian culture, like sheesha smoking?
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2007 15:32 GMT

Starbucks is moving into Egypt, but
can it outdo the successful Cilantro chain?
Starbucks has become a name synonymous with coffee. But that is not the case everywhere. Egypt, for example, was Starbucks free ... until now. So far its residents have existed on a diet of sheesha and local coffee.

Howard Schultz's Starbucks seems to be unstoppable – it has grown far beyond its original marketing target of 2000 outlets by the year 2000. In fact, in 2005 it had 12,000 stores in 37 countries - accounting for a turnover of $6.37 billion.

But success might not be so easy in Cairo. Two young Egyptian entrepreneurial upstarts may stand in their way. In 2000, long before the advent of Starbucks in the country, they started a coffee chain, Cilantro – which swiftly grew to 21 stores. 

People & Power examines just how an indigenous coffee culture is challenging the imperial ambition of an American coffee mogul.

This episode of People & Power aired from 20 June 2007

Watch this episode of People & Power here:

To contact us click on 'Send your feedback' at the top of the page

Watch Al Jazeera English programmes on YouTube

Click here to go to "Your Views" page to comment on our debates.


Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.