Wed, Mar 29, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Drinks businesses squeeze NT$49.1bn from consumers

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwanese enjoy freshly made drinks like bubble tea and coffee so much that they spent NT$49.1 billion (US$1.63 billion) on such products last year, and the figure is expected to grow this year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Monday.

Last year’s revenue represented a 3.9 percent annual increase, the ministry said, adding that total revenue in the first two months of this year has already surpassed the averages of previous years for the two-month period.

There were more than 20,000 stores selling freshly made drinks as of the end of last year, the ministry said, adding that they are mostly concentrated in areas with high footfall, such as near department stores and MRT stations.

Although stores selling freshly made tea and coffee are generally profitable, owners have to overcome problems such as high employee turnover, expensive rents, keen competition and fluctuations in ingredients prices, industry sources said.

In 2013, competition accounted for 70 percent of closures in the industry, while staff mobility accounted for the remaining 30 percent, operators said.

To develop their businesses, 70 percent of store owners said they would focus on keeping their products safe, 56 percent said they would aim to develop new products, 46 percent said the planned to cut ingredient and personnel costs and 32 percent said they aimed to innovate new products or business models, industry officials said.

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