Starbucks Corp., the world's biggest coffee-shop chain, said it will remove unhealthy trans fatty acids from its products in China within the next six months, following moves in the US.
"We're very optimistic about it," Eden Woon, China vice president for Starbucks Corp., said in an interview with Bloomberg in Shanghai today. "Our target is that within six months, we'll get trans fats down to zero in China."
Starbucks will also accelerate store expansion in places such as Beijing, western Chengdu and Xi'an, ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games, Woon said.
The Seattle-based company now has 230 stores on China's mainland, which is expected to become its biggest market outside of the United States.
Starbucks reformulated drinks, syrups and baked goods over the past two years to eliminate trans fats, which have been linked to heart disease, spokesman Brandon Borrman said on January 2.
Starbucks required more than half its company-owned stores in US cities to cut trans fats by January 3 and the remaining stores to do so by the end of this year.
Rival Yum! Brands Inc., the owner of KFC Corp., and McDonald's Corp. have both stated that their products in China don't contain trans fats, which were banned by The New York City Board of Health last year.
(Shanghai Daily February 9, 2007)