The Bubble Tea Mania

This drink has taken the world by storm. Where did it come from, and will this trend continue?

What’s New?

Nayuki Holdings, a popular Chinese teahouse chain, was listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday. Nayuki Holdings is the world’s first milk tea chain to be listed on a stock exchange. Nayuki’s shops sell premium tea drinks, like its signature cheese foam-topped fruit teas, and baked goods such as garlic bread and custard-filled buns.

The company was valued at $3.8 billion. The founders of the company — Peng Xin and her husband, Zhao Lin, have become billionaires because of the share sale. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the couple’s stake are each worth around $1.1 billion.

The History

The thought of a bubble tea (also known as pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, or boba) shop making so much money to a point that it made its founders billionaires must be blowing your mind. Meanwhile, the truth is that the popularity of bubble tea continues to grow. However, bubble tea wasn’t born yesterday, but has been around for decades.

According to an article by CNN Travel, the roots of bubble tea can be traced back to the 1940s. Later, in 1986, Taiwanese artist and entrepreneur Tu Tsong He decided to begin a new business venture by riding on the tea shop trend. Tu experimented by adding bigger, black tapioca balls to milk tea for a richer taste and a chewier texture. This became the classic bubble milk tea most fans know and love today. His first bubble tea shop, Hanlin, opened in October 1986.

Bubble tea spread from Taiwan to other Asian countries and communities around the globe, until it suddenly received popularity in mainstream North America around 2014. Heavy competition in the drinks market augmented the quality of bubble tea and the number of flavours that were being offered, including jasmine milk tea, taro milk tea, mango green tea and avocado milk tea.

The Market

There have been so many trends in the past on the food and drinks front. Certain types of foods gain attention, but when something new comes up, people tend to forget the old one. So, the popularity of bubble tea is on the rise now, but will it continue to sustain this trend?

According to Technavio, the bubble tea market is expected to grow by $941.72 million during 2021–2025, progressing at a CAGR of almost 7% during the forecast period. Another report by Allied Market Research said that the bubble tea market was valued at $2.4 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to reach $4.3 billion by 2027, recording a CAGR of 7.80% from 2020 to 2027.

So, there is a high probability that this trend will continue to stay popular among the Generation X. These reports show that the industry will continue to see growth and the increasing competition shows how there are more drinks to be consumed and more flavours to be created. Until another new drink sensation is born, let’s all continue sipping our bubble tea!

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