Tomoro Coffee, a tech-enabled, venture funded coffee chain that started in Jakarta, Indonesia last year, has expanded into China by opening its first store in Shanghai this Monday (20 November). 

Unlike Luckin Coffee, which initially focused on tech hubs with a lot of internet companies, or other coffee chain brands in China which focused on city centres, Tomoro opens its first store in E-link world in Qingpu district of China, which is a hub for logistics companies. 

This probably has something to do with the origins of Tomoro, which was founded by a team affiliated with J&T Express founder Jet Li. 

Tomoro’s first store in Jakarta is located at Landmark Pluit, where J&T Express, Oppo and many other companies led or supported by Jet Li are based: 

Tomoro has been steadily expanding in Indonesia – currently it has about 200 stores in the country, behind earlier players including Starbucks, Janji Jiwa and Kopi Kenangan but ahead of many other aspiring coffee chains. 

Its expansion to China probably follows the footsteps of J&T Express, which started in Indonesia but now counts China as its biggest market. When J&T first launched into China in 2019, people were sceptical, as ecommerce logistics were already saturated and highly competitive. After a few years of rapid expansion, J&T Express has established itself as one of the leading companies in the country. The competition is still ongoing, so it is quite hard to see what the end game will look like. 

Tomoro Shanghai’s menu consists of espresso-based coffee drinks, ‘flavoured coffees’, non-coffee drinks, light bites and others: 

In terms of pricing, a cup of hot/cold americano costs CNY10 (US$1.4) while a cup of coconut latte costs twice as much. It is within the range of the array of new mass market coffee chains in China: 

Will Tomoro succeed in China? Well, the factors of success in China are very similar to what we have highlighted in the “Coffee in Southeast Asia” report published last week:

You can download the  “Coffee in Southeast Asia”  report to gain additional insights about the modern chain coffee market in Southeast Asia – it is complimentary until 30 of November 2023:

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].