Mon, Jul 08, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Chatime opens its 100th outlet in the Philippines

Staff writer, with CNA, MANILA

Chatime (日出茶太), a Taiwanese bubble tea franchise, made a splash in the Philippines last week when it opened its 100th store there in the Abreeza Mall in Davao, the most populous city in the nation outside Metro Manila.

The brand offers a slew of teas, including its signature pearl milk tea, and variety of juices, smoothies and coffee.

The franchise, founded in Taiwan in 2005, now has more than 2,500 outlets in 41 nations worldwide, including the US, Canada, Japan, the UK, Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Henry Wang (王耀輝), chairman of Chatime owner La Kaffa International Co (六角國際), last week said that the Philippines is the third overseas market to have 100 Chatime stores, after Indonesia and Australia.

Southeast Asia is Chatime’s largest market for growth and Asia accounts for 56 percent of its revenues, followed by 16 percent in the Americas, 10 percent in Australia and 4.5 percent in Europe, Wang said.

Christopher Cua (柯昭仰), who helped bring the brand into the Philippines in 2011 and is now marketing and finance director of Chatime Philippines, said he saw the huge potential in the local milk tea market early on.

The signature “Chatime milk tea” is still the best-selling drink, accounting for 40 percent of total sales, Cua said.

Chatime Philippines said local consumers used to prefer coffee, but milk tea has quickly become the most popular.

For an average white-collar worker, lunch costs about 100 pesos (US$1.95), while a cup of milk tea can be had for 90 pesos, which is “not too expensive,” said Jem, a 25-year-old office employee.

Milk tea is so popular that even Starbucks started introducing it, he added.

Cua said he hopes to expand to 150 stores in the Philippines by the end of the year.

The company said it plans to have 200 branches by next year.

With more than 300 Chatime stores in Indonesia, 100 in the Philippines, 50 in Malaysia and 20 in Cambodia, the company aims to expand into other Southeast Asian nations later this year, notably Thailand and Vietnam, Wang said.

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