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The Story of King Coffee: National Pride in Vietnam and Global Value

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HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam —  Ms. Le Hoang Diep Thao, co-founder of Trung Nguyen Group and founder of King Coffee brand, joins the Allegra Coffee World CEO Forum to share the remarkable story of the Vietnamese coffee industry.

Her talk focuses on the history of the Vietnamese coffee culture, and how her company turns national values into a core branding strategy to win the domestic market and to expand its global foundation.

Ms. Diep Thao is the first representative from Vietnam to raise a voice at this leading forum of the global coffee industry

On November 08, 2018, Ms. Le Hoang Diep Thao will deliver a presentation entitled “National Pride and Global Value: A Story of King Coffee” at the Allegra Coffee World CEO Forum – the world’s leading forum for the coffee industry.

In her presentation, Ms. Diep Thao will share her knowledge about the history of Vietnamese coffee by referring to “the three waves” of coffee in the country, each connected with an important national milestone, such as the colonial contact, the end of the Vietnam War, and the recent economic Reform.

Inspiration from the rich coffee culture of Vietnam, according to Ms. Diep Thao, is pivotal for Trung Nguyen’s success. She will talk about how Vietnamese historical and cultural symbols, meanings, desires and even fantasies relate to coffee; while explaining why her company’s success is originated from the linkage between authentic Vietnamese coffee culture and cosmopolitan flavor brought by globalization.

As Ms. Diep Thao stressed, the third wave of Vietnamese coffee, which happened with the economic reform in the 1990s, was centered on the role of Trung Nguyen. This company was the first domestic business to turn raw Vietnamese coffee beans into premium beverage products to serve the emerging middle class in the country and to export globally.

In so doing, Trung Nguyen has changed the game of coffee production in Vietnam by adding more value to the current position of Vietnam as a raw bean exporter. Thanks to its in-depth understanding of the Vietnamese coffee culture, Trung Nguyen quickly became one of the most remarkable Vietnamese brands that is widely recognized in both domestic and international markets.

King Coffee, the new Trung Nguyen brand launched in 2016, continues to promote the authenticity of Vietnamese coffee. It also marks a new milestone as Trung Nguyen steps more boldly into the global market. Directly targeting international customers, King Coffee introduces the distinctive flavor of Vietnamese coffee in global-friendly packaging with great affordability.

Ms. Diep Thao’s vision with King Coffee is to sell Vietnamese coffee as a cultural experience, in which her inspiration from the Vietnamese coffee culture is met with full global compatibility. King Coffee’s main products include traditional Vietnamese and Southeast Asian blends, Whole Bean, Weasel, and Capsule in various flavors loved by international consumers. Two years after its debut, King Coffee is now distributed in 60 international markets, including the US, China, Korea, Australia, Singapore, and Russia.

In her talk, Ms. Diep Thao will emphasize on her commitment to long-term community projects that support Vietnamese coffee farmers against the precarious living condition caused by unstable coffee price. Although Vietnam is the world’s largest Robusta exporter, Vietnamese coffee farmers have no voice over the coffee price.

Developing countries like Vietnam also play an essential role in providing the world with raw coffee beans but are structurally excluded from the lucrative market of processed products dominated by the big brothers.

Fully aware of this bare reality, Trung Nguyen actively works with an extended network of local communities and governmental authorities to promote a better life for Vietnamese coffee farmers and to claim a better position for the Vietnamese coffee industry that it deserves.

Regarding her company’s community projects, Ms. Diep Thao once said: “Our focus has not been on the bottom line alone but on the constant revolutionizing of our strategy to make sure it is a win-win situation for farmers, customers, distributors, and the national industry as a whole. We understand that being a leading coffee brand in a small country, we need to facilitate collective effort in winning the global market, whereby national interest is the core of our sustainable success.”

Ms. Le Hoang Diep Thao is one of the 10 speakers invited to share a voice at the Allegra Coffee World CEO Forum this year.

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