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Thais still crazy for bubble tea

Oct 31. 2019
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By The Nation

One of the most popular beverages in Asia continues to make its presence felt in Thailand, with Thais knocking back 6 glasses per month on average, according to Taiwan-based bubble tea chain The Alley.

And bubble tea has now found its way to Europe and America – known as the Blue Ocean market –with The Alley opening 300 branches around the world and more planned for Germany and England.

Anol Thanesworakul, chairman of Millary, which owns the franchise in Thailand, said the global bubble tea market is expected to reach more than Bt100 billion in 2023 from Bt62 billion in 2018.

According to GrabFood statistics, the bubble tea market in Thailand enjoyed a 3,000-per-cent growth rate in 2017-2018 with 1,500 bubble tea brands and around 4,000 shops.

Thailand has seen a growth rate of at least 40 per cent in the last 3 years valued at Bt2.5-Bt3 billion. It is forecast to reach a value of Bt5 billion in the next few years. However, the market will turn into a ‘red ocean’ market and without any flagship product or new gimmicks, could drop by 20-25 per cent causing some brands to leave the market.

Middle-quality bubble tea prices are around Bt40-75 and hold 60 per cent of the market while the mass market price of Bt40 or less has 30 per cent.

According to The Alley record, the main customers are female (79 per cent) with males making up the remaining 21 per cent. Most consumers are young adults between the ages of 24 and 35 (50 per cent) and workers aged 35 to 44 years (25 per cent).

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