The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) certainly does have a plethora of dividend shares for income investors to choose from.

Whether it be Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and the other banks, or the nation’s biggest telco Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS), there are plenty of above-average dividends out there.

But of all these dividend shares I would pick Retail Food Group Limited (ASX: RFG) over them every time. Retail Food Group is the master franchisor of a collection of popular brands such as Gloria Jean’s, Donut King and Michel’s Patisserie. According to CommSec, its shares are estimated to provide a fully franked 5.5% dividend in FY 2016.

If the company does pay out the expected 30 cents per share dividend it would mean 10 consecutive years of dividend increases. Perhaps the best part is that I believe its strong growth prospects mean this outstanding run can continue for many years to come.

Across its network of 2,509 stores it currently serves 140-million customers per year. This strong presence within a growing Australian coffee market estimated by management to be worth $15 billion per year by 2020 is one reason why I think Retail Food Group is a great investment.

But another reason is its overseas expansion plans. This ambitious company currently has its eyes fixed on the Chinese market through its joint venture with Chinese restaurant group GouBuLi. In a recent presentation management stated that it expects its international segment to provide 25% of total EBITDA by FY 2018, up from 16.8% as of its FY 2016 half-year results.

The Chinese market is not only huge, but still exhibiting rapid growth. According to the Wall Street Journal, coffee consumption is expected to grow by 18% per year in China through to 2019. If the company can take even a small slice of this market it will no doubt make a big impression on its bottom line.

In the last 10 years the company has increased its earnings by an average of 16% per year. This year looks to be no different after management maintained its full year guidance of net profit after tax growth of 20% year-on-year earlier this month. If it can achieve the targeted level of success in its international segment then I see no reason why this strong performance cannot continue for a number of years.

So at a time when there are fears about the banks cutting their dividends, I believe an investment in Retail Food Group will prove to be a great one. Its shares are changing hands at a lowly 13x estimated FY 2016 earnings, which makes it great value in my opinion.

Finally, Retail Food Group might not be the only dividend share that is a better option than the banks right now. In fact, I would recommend those looking for income to consider taking a look at these big dividend shares as alternatives to the banks.

Why these 5 dividend shares are better bets than the banks

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Retail Food Group Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.