Earlier this week bubble (boba) tea company Chatime entered into a new partnership with franchise developer FranDevCo. The announcement comes on the heels of the recent opening of the chain’s first store in California, at the Westfield Culver City Shopping Center in Culver City.
The new deal created Chatime Global LLC, a partnership between La Kaffa, the franchisor of Chatime and Chatime Group Australia. La Kaffa is listed as a public company in Taiwan, operating several food industry brands.
The boba tea chain has plans for further expansion in Southern California, with stores just opened in Fashion Center Torrance and Westfield Fashion Square Sherman Oaks in September.
Until now, the chain has focused on expansion in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. The company has now set its sights on U.S. growth, anticipating 1,000 new stores by 2033.
According to a recent report by JC Market Research, the global bubble tea market is expected to grow to $3.84 billion by 2031, up from an estimated $2.32 billion in 2023. The report went on to cite many reasons behind the rising demand for bubble tea, including that consumers are seeking more natural and organic beverages. Another attraction is that bubble tea is highly customizable, with options such as sugar-free syrups and dairy-free or soy-based milk replacements increasing sales among health-conscious consumers. Social media and new experiential dining trends have also added to the drink’s popularity.
Since launching in Taiwan in 2003, Chatime has grown to become one of the largest bubble tea brands in the world. The chain now boasts over 1,450 stores worldwide in 62 countries across seven continents. In 2019, Chatime acquired the largest Taiwanese tapioca pearl manufacturer, Ten En Tapioca Foods Co., LTD.