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The global bubble tea market size was USD 2.02 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 3.39 billion by the end of 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period.
Coffee and tea are traditionally consumed beverages across the world. Modified tea products called bubble tea have gained immense popularity in recent years across the world, especially in Southeast Asia. It has various names associated with it such as boba tea, pearl milk tea, boba juice, or bubble milk tea. It is made using various ingredients such as fruit powder, tapioca, and others.
An Infographic Representation of Bubble Tea Market
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COVID-19 to Affect Both Supply and Consumption
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the government bodies to impose strict closure of restaurants, farms, and factories to maintain safety measures and implement social distancing. This has led to transportation delays and the functioning of both supplies (tea estates) and demand for the consumption points to a standstill due to a shortage of manpower and reduced visits of customers to coffee shops amidst the lockdown.
According to the Indian Tea Association, tea prices have risen by 25%-40% on average due to lockdown in the tea-growing regions, as well as because of the irregular movement of cargo and drop in crop size. The whole tea production cycle which includes raw material procurement, chemicals, fertilizers, and fuel for the factories has also been affected which will take time to recover, as stated by Harrisons Malayalam (HML), in 2020. Furthermore, the tea exports have also declined by 6%-8% due to the paralyzed logistics movement as per Tea Board India, which is also hampering the industry growth.
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Increasing Inclination of Consumers towards Versatile Teas with Innovative Bold Flavors is a Prominent Trend
It is creating a buzz among the major trends in the food and beverage industry. The major ingredient is the tapioca pearls/balls that are added to the tea. These tapioca balls are chewy and are a flavor addition. The growing interest of consumers in innovative beverages with bold flavors and their willingness to experiment with various flavors has positively impacted the market. It possesses various attributes such as it is low-fat and has low-calorie content. Various components that are added include flavors, tapioca pearls, sweeteners, tea ingredients, cream, and water.
The product has several health benefits associated with it. It acts as an antioxidant agent which helps in slowing cell damage. This would help the market grow in the near future. Black tea is consumed in large quantities, as compared to the other types, owing to the presence of anti-inflammatory properties.
Availability of Wide Range of Products Attracting Millennials to Boost Growth
There are various types and flavors available in the market, such as fruit-flavored, green jasmine, and black tea. The fruit-flavored tea has various types such as fruit-flavored cream drink and sweetened fruit drink. The lactose-intolerant population are given options to consume black, green jasmine, green tea, and others. The availability of various types of boba tea gives the consumer more options. This is a marketing strategy that helps attract more consumers. Its outlets are also launching new flavors and formulations in order to attract consumers. Further, the shift of millennials towards such products owing to their demand for premium tea varieties with unique flavor offerings has aided in the growth.
Consumer Shift towards Healthy Alternatives to Favor Growth
Diseases such as obesity and diabetes associated with the increased intake of sugar have led consumers to shift towards sugar alternatives such as stevia, agave, and honey. These are the types of natural sweeteners that are added to the boba tea to replace or reduce the sugar intake. Health-conscious people and the diabetic population prefer consuming these natural sweeteners, as compared to sugar. Consumers highly prefer such products due to their beneficial properties, such as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic.
Availability of Other Caffeinated Drinks to Impede Growth
Despite the burgeoning demand for such tea as an innovative beverage, the wide availability of other caffeinated drinks such as coffee and coffee consumption trends in the Western countries poses a restraint. The rising coffee inclusion in the diet as an energy booster along with its enhanced consumption convenience as a ready-to-drink beverage to suit the on-the-go lifestyle of the consumers has led to its increased demand. The variety of convenient coffee categories offers a surfeit of innovative coffees such as cold brew, snap chilled, nitro cold brew, and sparkling canned coffee. This has significantly drawn the consumers’ attention. Furthermore, the availability of numerous flavors in coffee such as butterscotch, hazelnut, caramel, and vanilla would also hamper the growth of global consumption.
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The shift of Consumers towards Natural and Organic Products to Drive the Black Tea Segment
The black tea segment is projected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period which is owing to its increased preference by health-conscious consumers in every region. Consumers are shifting towards natural and organic food and beverage products which are one of the major factors that would help in the growth of this segment to drive the market.
Followed by black tea, the green tea segment is expected to hold the major percentage of the bubble tea market share. According to NCBI, healthy and natural ingredients such as green tea help in preventing weight gain and also in inducing weight loss when consumed regularly. Green tea has shown long-term energy-inducing properties and has a positive effect on the regulation of body weight.
Fruit Flavor Segment is Dominating Backed by High Consumer Preference
The product is available in different flavors and the most popular flavors include coffee, fruit, chocolate, classic/original, and others. Among the various flavors, the fruit flavor is more popular and this segment dominated the market in 2019. It includes flavor variants such as lychee, mango, passion fruit, peach, plum, strawberry, avocado, banana, grape, kiwi, lemon, and others. This segment of this tea market is expected to grow significantly throughout the forecast period due to its high nutritional value, as compared to the other flavors, diversity in flavor, and high consumer preference.
Asia Pacific Bubble Tea Market Size, 2019 (USD Million)
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The origin and reinvention of bubble tea can be traced back to Taiwan. Later on, it quickly spread across the countries of Asia Pacific in recent years. Currently, the Asia Pacific region holds the largest market share and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10.07% during the forecast period. Vietnam and Taiwan are projected to have the largest sales. Many manufacturers are launching new restaurants/cafes to attract consumers and fortify their market presence. For instance, in September 2020, Chen Shucheng is starting a new bubble tea franchise in Singapore called Meme Xpress.
Followed by the Asia Pacific, North America is also expected to hold the second-largest share throughout the forecast period. Countries in North America and Europe are gradually increasing the consumption of this tea owing to the growing popularity of tea-based fruity beverages. Furthermore, there has been an increase in boba stores in the U.S. and U.K., which has contributed to the bubble tea market growth. Consumers are switching towards no and low-alcoholic beverages. This has shifted their preferences towards such tea-based flavorful beverages.
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Companies in the Industry are Aggressively Expanding Their Franchisees to Cater to Growing Demand
The manufacturers are capitalizing on improving the functionality of bubble tea ingredients to cater to the rising demand from consumers. Companies such as Lollicup USA Inc., Gong Cha, Chatime, CuppoTee Company, and Bubble Tea House Company, have invested in research and development activities in order to offer new variants of the tea for a growing market. Other players operating in the market are Boba Box Limited, Fokus Inc., Sumos Sdn Bhd, Troika JC. (Qbubble), and Boba Tea Company.
The key players in the industry receiving high levels of popularity and response from the customers are franchising their business into different locations.
The research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of the market size and growth rate for all possible segments in the market. Various key insights presented in the report are an overview of the related markets, recent industry developments such as mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key bubble tea market trends.
Value (USD Billion)
By Type, Flavor, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global bubble tea market size was valued at USD 2.02 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 3.39 billion by 2027.
Growing at a CAGR of 7.2%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).
The black tea segment is expected to be the leading segment based on the product type in the market during the forecast period.
Health beneficial attributes such as low-fat, low-calorie content, and presence of anti-inflammatory properties are the key driving factors of the market.
Chatime, Gong Cha, Boba Loca, Kung Fu Tea, and Lollicup USA, Inc. are the leading players in the market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market in terms of share in 2019.
The fruit flavor is leading in the flavor segment of the global market.
The expansion of franchisee stores, investments/funding, and new product launches are the key market trends.
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