Running a business is demanding, absorbing work, so you’ll be forgiven if you haven’t spotted a huge trend that’s been reshaping the way consumers, particularly Gen Zs, spend their time and money. Bubble tea has become a phenomenon on the British high street and in food markets in the last five years, with bright cups of the chilled tea (made with or without milk and loaded with tapioca pearls, juice balls or ice) becoming a common sight. In fact, this Taiwanese beverage is predicted by Persistence Market Research to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5% over the next nine years. Compare that to the 1.51% CAGR forecast by analysts Statista across a similar period for standard black tea in the UK and you get a sense of the opportunity for cafés adding bubble tea to their offer.
The firm behind the UK’s bubble tea scene is Boba Box, a pioneering supplier which 13 years ago introduced its famous popping juice balls, jellies, powders, syrups and machinery to Great Britain, and continues to drive innovation. In a trend-driven category, this constant evolution has created a really extensive range of products, and may explain why in 2022 Boba Box sold the equivalent of an incredible seven million cups of bubble tea across 28 countries. “Bubble Tea is one of the fastestgrowing drink sectors in the UK,” confirms director Yoshi Lee. “It’s fun, exciting, and as bespoke a drink as you can get, yet easily added to an existing menu.
Boba Box has the largest range of ingredients in the UK to supply and expertly support cafes of all size, on single or multiple sites, with a plethora of flavour combinations to suit their customers’ tastes. Having been the first to market we know the size of the opportunity and there’s many who could similarly benefit.”