• Gloria Jean's takeaway coffee cup.

Gloria Jean's takeaway coffee cup. (Photo : Reuters)

A Thursday announcement from Retail Food Group (RFG), Australia's largest food franchisor, confirmed a deal with Chinese company Tianjin Senyongtai Food and Beverage Co, a subsidiary of GouBuLi Group, to further expand the Gloria Jean's coffee chain throughout China.

The Gold Coast-based RFG already operates 12 Gloria Jean's outlets in China, and is looking to build upon its empire of 800 international outlets that are located in over 40 countries.

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According to RFG's CEO, Tony Alford, "the joint venture represents the culmination of a 12-month engagement between the Gloria Jean's Coffees Brand System, Tian Jin Sen Yong Tai Co Limited and their respective associates."

Alford explained that an initial license fee has been paid, while future earnings will be generated through "profit share and supply-side opportunity."

The chief executive also highlighted the "sufficient resources" and "retailing expertise" of its "motivated partner" in China. The Australian company plans to use profits from the joint venture to further develop its presence in the Eastern nation, which analysts have claimed is now the world's leading economy.

Thursday's news occurs during a period in China when coffee chains from the U.S., U.K. and South Korea have also expanded into the country's marketplace, while coffee sales continue to rapidly grow.

Data from Euromonitor shows that Chinese domestic coffee sales have risen from around $1.3 billion in 2008 to over $2.5 billion in 2013.

Meanwhile, Chinese coffee consumption increases by an annual rate of 15 percent, which is considerably higher than the global rate of 2 percent.

GouBuLi has been involved in China's food and beverage industry for 150 years and is widely known for its steamed stuffed buns. The company's annual revenue is approximately 1 billion yuan ($160 million).