Taiwanese bubble tea chain Gong Cha is reportedly planning to open 17 more locations in Australia, taking its store count to 135 in the island nation, in addition to expanding across the U.S.
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Gong Cha, which means ‘to offer the best tea to the emperor from all of one’s possessions’, will open the new franchises across Australia, with exact date and location details to be revealed.
In addition, Gong Cha said in March it is accelerating its U.S. expansion with the signing of three new master franchisees, awarding territory rights for the states of Louisiana, Colorado, and Michigan. The deals are projected to grow the brand’s U.S. footprint by an additional 60 stores over a period of five years, exceeding 500 stores by 2025, the company said in a press release.
The Australia and U.S. expansion comes three years after international private equity company TA Associates acquired an undisclosed stake in the bubble-tea chain, via its Hong Kong office.
At the time of the investment announcement, Gong Cha said the funds would help grow and expand its brand across new and existing markets.
Founded in 1996 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Gong Cha has more 1,670 locations across 20 countries including Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Vietnam, the UK and the U.S.
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According to Grubhub’s ‘State of the Plate’ 2021 report, orders of bubble milk tea shot up 505 percent during the first half of 2021, with the global bubble tea market projected to reach $3.39 billion by the end of 2027, according to Fortune Business Insights report.