This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
In February 2021, the Burmese military deposed the democratically elected civilian government and seized governing power. The military coup has caused enormous damage to the country’s growing economy and social stability, and escalating violence has negatively impacted many industry sectors, mainly banking, finance, healthcare, consumer goods, financial technology, agriculture, and logistics.
Over the past seven years until January 2021, food and beverage franchise chains from Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, and Japan have made inroads in Burma. Among ASEAN countries, Singapore has a strong interest in Burma’s franchise sector.
In addition to the Asian franchise food chains, U.S. franchises have successfully entered the country, starting in 2015. In March 2013, Thai conglomerate Minor Food Group (MFG) opened Swensen’s, an American food and ice cream brand in Burma. In July 2015, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) opened its first outlet in downtown Yangon. KFC now has nearly 50 outlets in Yangon, Mandalay, and Naypyitaw. Pizza Hut opened its first restaurant in October 2015. In 2018, Krispy Kreme inaugurated its first store and has since added eight more outlets in Yangon. In addition, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf now operate five shops in Yangon.
Post-coup, nearly ten Asian and two American F&B franchise brands announced their exits from the Burmese market. The remaining foreign brands continue to operate and have adopted a wait-and-see approach. KFC and Krispy Kreme opened up new outlets in Yangon in early 2022.
Burma’s growing middle class with increasing consumer activity is an attractive market for international franchise brands. The market had little exposure to most foreign brands until the 1990s. Since then, the country has experienced an influx of foreign franchises, especially in the food and beverage sector from both western and Asian countries.
The key sectors with the best prospects for franchise opportunities in Burma are food & beverage, coffee shops, ice cream parlors, vocational and executive-level education, car hire, and taxi services.
Burma’s franchise sector started with a couple of local and international fast-food franchise chains in 2013. By the end of 2019, the country had nearly 95 foreign franchises operating in Yangon, Mandalay, Taung Gyi, and Naypyidaw. A large youth population, increasing consumer activity, and an expanding middle class has been driving demand for U.S. franchises.
U.S. companies are advised to conduct proper due diligence checks on local franchisees and potential partners. The U.S. Commercial Service Office offers customized services that help U.S. businesses find a reputable local business partner.
U.S. Commercial Service
U.S. Embassy, Burma