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China Bubble Tea Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Black Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, and White Tea) and By Flavor (Fruit Flavor, Original Flavor, Chocolate Flavor, Coffee Flavor, and Others), 2023-2030

Last Updated: April 08, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI107500



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The China bubble tea market size is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.01% during the forecast period.

China has seen a surge in demand for milk tea as it offers health benefits and unique flavors. Bubble tea is gaining traction in the country, especially among the younger generation, due to its attractiveness and various flavors. Furthermore, the penetration activities of regional manufacturers such as Mixue, Chagee, and HEYTEA are positively impacting on product sales. The rising consumption of the product due to its health benefits also helps the China bubble tea market growth. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine in 2022, chewing tapioca pearls may help increase salivary C-protein (CRP) and calcium (Ca) levels.


Tea Flavor Innovations to Boost Product Sales

In China, sweetened and colored bubble tea drinks have been driven by the increasing health and a more delicious taste in the bubble milk tea segment. Before the boom of sweetened and colored boba tea beverages, there had already been a great availability of street shops selling traditional bubble milk tea brands in China. Furthermore, the rising demand for new tea varieties and hybrid tastes such as fruit flavored mixed with tea, cheese tea, and others have increased the demand for flavored bubble tea. Western processed foods have been growing in the region. Flavors such as peach, oolong tea, red bean, and matcha tea are popular among Chinese consumers. White teas and Jasmine are also emerging flavors propelling bubble tea sales in the country. Furthermore, bubble tea manufacturers in the country also are introducing flavors that are gaining immense popularity. For instance, in February 2020, Heytea, a Chinese tea drink chain, developed a new formula by adding salty, creamy cheese to its boba tea which helps compensate for the bitterness of tea and seems to appeal to people.


Rising Lactose Intolerant Population Propels the Demand for Plant-based Beverages

Lactose intolerance is rising in the country, with increasing consumer health awareness and changing lifestyles. The rising number of food allergies drives the demand for lactose-free products, which are a healthier alternative to conventional dairy. National Institutes of Health US National Library of Medicine report 2020, about 85% of the Chinese population suffer from lactose intolerance. Therefore, consumers switch to dairy-free foods by choosing dairy alternatives, including beverages such as milk tea. The prominent players in the country adopt strategies to meet the increasing demand for plant-based beverages. For instance, in September 2020, Mother Pearl, a healthy teahouse in Hong Kong, introduced the first plant-based bubble tea store. The food chain introduced vegan-friendly boba teas with unique flavors with a mission to promote well-being and health.


Presence of Trans-Fat and High Sugar Content in the Product May Impede the Market Growth

Bubble tea contains high levels of sugar and trans-fats, which may not be preferred by health-conscious people. The manufacturers use trans-fats to enhance the taste and texture of the drinks. The constant consumption of such products may lead to adverse health effects such as harmful cholesterol levels, heart risk and diabetes. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a 16 ounce, i.e. 473 ml of single served boba drink with milk tea and tapioca balls, contains 299 calories and 38 grams of sugar. Therefore, the presence of high sugar in such products may hamper the sales of the products. Furthermore, the increasing number of coffee shops and coffee consumption in the country is negatively impacting market growth.


In terms of the competitive landscape, the market depicts the presence of established and emerging bubble tea companies. The rising popularity of bubble milk tea owing to flavor, accessibility, and ongoing reinvention of the traditional tea formula led the manufacturers to focus on market expansion strategies. The leading retail chains of pearl milk tea increased their investments and expanded their presence. For instance, in January 2023, Heytea opened new stores in 37 cities in 2022 with a total membership base of 63 million.

Some of the other companies with a considerable presence in the China market include The Alley, Chatime Group, Coco, Koi, Yediandian, and others. Coco Fresh, or Coco is a famous Chinese brand with more than 2,000 stores worldwide and 20 years of experience in the pearl milk tea market. The Alley is also the most prominent brand in China, which focuses on the aesthetic side of beverages and is known for its brown sugar tapioca pearls, layered matcha, and black tea drinks.


  • Chatime Group (China)

  • Tiger Sugar (China)

  • Hey tea  (China)

  • Nayuki (China)

  • Happy Lemon (China)

  • Xiangpiaopiao (China)

  • Lelecha (China)

  • Yehitang (Taiwan)

  • Dakasi (China)

  • The Alley (China)


  • April 2020: Chatime, a bubble tea company, launched oat milk-based bubble tea such as Chatime Pearl Milk Tea and Grass Jelly Roasted Milk Tea.

  • March 2019: Happy Lemon, a Chinese Bubble tea chain, partnered with Koubei, Alibaba Group’s local services app, to upgrade its in-store technology, including a new drink-making robot. The new technology was launched in Shanghai, and the robot could make eight types of drinks with about 40 variations based on customer preferences for different amounts of ice and sugar.


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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects such as an overview of technological advancements, milk tea flavor innovations in China, and the rising lactose-intolerant population. Additionally, it includes social media influence, new product launches in Asian countries, specifically China, supply chain analysis, key industry developments such as mergers, partnerships, & acquisitions and the impact of COVID-19 on the market. Besides this, the report also offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry dynamics. In addition to the aforementioned factors, it encompasses several factors that have contributed to the long term growth of the market in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 9.01% from 2023 to 2030


Value (USD Billion)


By Type

  • Black Tea

  • Green Tea

  • Oolong Tea

  • White Tea

By Flavor

  • Fruit Flavor

  • Original Flavor

  • Chocolate Flavor

  • Coffee Flavor

  • Others

  • 2019-2030
  • 2022
  • 2019-2021
  • 110

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