7 things you need to know about Milksha in Australia

By Sarah Stowe | 23 Sep 2019 View comments

What do you know about Milksha? It’s a new name in bubble tea that opened its doors to the first Australian outlet, a flagship in Melbourne, on Saturday 21 September.  Here Peter Huang, GM of Milkshop International, reveals why the popular Taiwanese bubble tea brand is setting up shop in Australia

1. Why are you launching Milksha in Australia?

The bubble tea craze has been seized in top cities around the world. In our observation, this market keeps growing as more and more people are getting familiar with the bubble tea drinks including the Western markets. Melbourne is the multi-cultural hub in Australia embracing different kinds of foods. Australians are seeking high quality products and are more health conscious about their lifestyles, which matches with Milksha brand pillars: natural, healthy and high quality. 

We only use premium fresh milk and fresh ingredients in our drinks. For example, we make our own pearls free from any preservatives and additives and we choose authentic Japanese matcha and Valrhona cocoa powder from France in order to deliver the best quality drinks. 

To be a sustainable franchising brand, we make decisions based on what’s better for our environment, therefore we choose 100 per cent biodegradable bamboo straws despite of the higher cost. We try our best to cut off plastic usage as much as we can. We believe consumers in Australia will see the big difference once they come to Milksha. 

2. Is the Melbourne store company-run?

No, it is managed by a franchisee.

3. How is the Australian store development managed?

The right local partner is the major evaluation about entering into a new market. In Australia, we found a trusty licensee to work with. I believe this young and energetic team with non-stop creativity and devotion to this brand will hit this market successfully.  

4. What are your expansion plans for the next 12 months?

We will focus in Victoria first starting with Melbourne since this city is the multi-culture hub of Australia embracing different different kinds of foods. Sydney will be our next main market to expand. We will steadily and firmly grow the business in Australia like we have done in other countries instead of spreading out too fast and overlooking our product quality. 

5. What other differences than fresh milk distinguishes Milksha from bubble tea competitors?

First of all, it’s our quality control of the products. In Taiwan, we are one of the top brands setting the benchmark of the bubble tea market as we always find the best quality ingredients. We have our own dairy farm in Taiwan since our founder is a third generation farming family. In Australia, we are supporting the local dairy industry and have partnered up with the award winning St. David’s Dairy. 

For the loose tea leafs and pearl toppings, we spontaneously test the ingredients regularly to ensure they are of the best quality. For the drinking water used in store, we don’t use tap water for making drinks like our other competitors, instead we have built a water filter system in each store in order to provide the best taste. We also provide strong support from our headquarters for each market with a R&D team specialises in product innovation and quality control. 

6 How will the brand be marketed to consumers?

Milksha is a well-established brand in Asia, and so we believe the brand reputation helps the brand awareness among Asian communities. To grow the brand well in Australia, we pay attention on consumers experiences in our store. Therefore we create a cozy and stylish space for our customers. And we keep engaging with them through social and digital platforms to help generate more and more word of mouth. 

7. What lessons have you learned about expanding franchises overseas?

  • Every market is different. This includes consumer behaviours, tastes, suitable market price, etc. So we always conduct thorough research to allow for sufficient preparation before entering into a new market. 
  • To keep the authentic flavour of our Taiwanese bubble tea, we ship fresh ingredients from Taiwan to each market. We have learned how to to keep the best conditions of the ingredients from many failures in past. 
  • In addition to keeping the original flavours, localisation is the key to success when expanding the local market. For example, we have exclusive yoghurt drinks in Melbourne that are not available in other markets. Another example is in Canada, where we partner with a local ice cream brand to develop new products which cater to local consumers.