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Chatime, Taiwan’s Largest Bubble Tea Brand, Eyes U.S. Expansion

Changing the way the world drinks tea one drink at a time.

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As the global bubble tea market continues to expand, Chatime – Taiwan’s largest bubble tea brand with over 1,200 stores across 50 key areas worldwide – is set to embark on a massive expansion program with a particular focus on the United
According to a 2019 study by Allied Market Research, the worldwide bubble tea industry is expected to grow significantly from USD 2 billion to USD 4.3 billion by 2027. The market demand for bubble tea in the United States is conservatively estimated
at around USD 240 million and is likely to double or even triple in the next few years.

Bubble Through the Years

Also known as “pearl milk tea” or “boba tea,” the popular drink has roots that can be traced back to the 1940s when Chang Fan Shu opened a tea shop which pioneered the hand-shaken tea mix using cocktail shakers.

The result was a rich and silky iced tea with fine bubbles on top.

As Taiwan continued to experience rapid economic growth, the trend of drinking Taiwanesetea beverages prospered together with the rise of the recreational food trend in the 1980s.

The popular milk tea has since become a symbol of Taiwan’s self-confidence and national identity.

Regional Growth

In Southeast Asia, bubble tea demand recorded a 3,000% increase in 2018 alone. The high per capita consumption rate is no surprise — data from Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia reveal an average of four cups
of bubble tea per person per month. The growth in bubble tea has also rapidly gained traction outside of Asia in almost every corner of the planet.

A Global Obsession

What’s behind the universal appeal of bubble tea? It comes down to the versatility, diversity of local flavors, and customization of this leisure drink.
Walk into a bubble tea store and you’re spoiled with choices — from how much ice you want and the level of sweetness to a mix and match of different types of teas, dairy products, and flavors. And to top it off or as a mix-in, those delightful
tapioca pearls — soft on the outside and chewy on the inside.
It’s no wonder the whole bubble tea concept has created a pop culture phenomenon in the beverage industry the world over.

Global Expansion

With stores flourishing in over 50 areas & territories on six continents, Chatime is now the world’s largest Taiwanese bubble tea brand. Since its opening in 2005, the brand has expanded across Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States.
While other brands have limited their marketing efforts to Asian consumers in different countries, Chatime has set its sights on cross-cultural expansion and drawing in people from all walks of life.
The U.S. market has its natural advantages. A large Asian-American population and their influence on local culture combined with a growing appetite for new and exotic recreational drinks make reaching customers more attainable

Vertical Integration

In 2019, Chatime acquired the largest Taiwanese pearl manufacturer called TEN EN TAPIOCA FOODS CO., LTD, specializing in “Brown Sugar Pearl” production. As a Halal-certified product with up to 60 metric tons of daily production capacity, Ten En Brown Sugar Pearl has been distributed to countries with no barriers whatsoever.

The acquisition has not only increased Chatime’s global market share, it also enabled the brand to achieve vertical integration.

Through corporate strategic planning of acquisition and investment, Chatime has gained full access to the global bubble tea supply chain as well as the control of global bubble tea’s top-selling ingredient, the Boba Pearl. The vertical supply chain integration has lowered the operational cost and risk of overstock, while at the same time scaled up business operations significantly.

All the pieces in place

“Since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, the situation has significantly affected the global economy which have resulted in several businesses closed, especially in the food services and restaurant industry. As the world economy slowly recovers, Chatime has put its focus on the potential opportunities in the US market through establishing competitive advantages, including continuous investment and optimization of business operation, personnel training, technology implementation, and supply chain resources,” says Henry Wang, Chairman of Chatime.

“By utilizing the market opportunities available at its disposal, Chatime is now in a position to build the brand as the world’s leading bubble tea brand.”

For more information about Chatime, visit https://www.chatime.com.tw/en/

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