Chatime and Gotcha reveal bubble tea expectations

The bubble tea market is expanding its horizons. Here Chatime and Gotcha share insights into their 2021 business plans.

How many stores are in Australia now and what’s the target for the next 12–24 months?

Gotcha: Christy Chen, assistant managing director

“Since 2018, Gotcha has expanded to 21 stores across Australia with five new outlets opening before midwinter and another 15 Australian expected to open by the end of the year.

“Gotcha is planning to expand to Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and Singapore this year, and is expanding to eight stores in Indonesia.

“Gotcha will continue focusing on the interior of our stores to deliver an elevated level of design.

Chatime: Andrew Benefield, chief development officer

“We currently have 126 Chatime franchises located across Australia with 29 more to come over the course of 2021. As of right now, we currently have over 50 per cent of our target locked in.”

What are your expectations for the marketplace in the next five years?

Andrew Benefield, Chatime

“Our expectations are that the market will consolidate to two to three key players, Chatime of course included. Our goal is set high with the aim to hit 250 stores across Australia. We believe quality operators with good systems will shine through, with fresh iced tea becoming an accepted staple end competitor to other beverages such as juice.

“Another growing push in the market is for brands to be more environmentally friendly and reduce plastic waste. Chatime is currently working on Project Happy Turtle, which aims for us to completely eradicate single-use plastic within our stores across Australia. We’ve trialled this through the introduction of reusable bubble tea cups, as well as paper straws across the network.”

Christy Chen, Gotcha

“As coffee and tea are beverages consumed across the world, we are very confident the bubble tea market will continue to grow, especially as we expand into international regions. There continues a great buzz among the trends of the food and beverage industry, with boba balls, full leaf tea, high-quality milk and sustainable packaging showing no signs of the interest dwindling away. 

“We are committed to enhancing our bubble tea experience and taking Gotcha to the next level through strategic planning, innovation and expanding our beverage options to suit all consumers.”