For anyone looking for a new and interesting business to use with their Business students at the end of this year or to start next year … look no further! Bubble tea is a growing market, an interesting business to look at and has a great history to explore! For the students… there is even a Bubbleology store inside Topshop at London’s flagship store on Oxford Street.
In 2010 Bubble tea wasn’t really known in the UK but in the past 5 years the market has grown and it is even more popular across mainland Europe, especially in Germany.
So what is it?
“It is often brightly coloured, sometimes served with milk, with a layer of jelly-like globules – tapioca balls – that settle at the bottom of the cup. Drunk through an extra thick straw with a spoon-shaped tip, it is a mouthful of tea and chewiness – both a drink and a snack.
Bubble tea hails from 1980s Taiwan. It was an evolution from the country’s street tea vendors who began experimenting with fruity flavours and colour to entice customers. The “bubble” actually refers to the froth on top of the drink which comes after it is violently shaken – some cafes use a machine especially for shaking.”
It has grown in popularity so much over the past few years that there are stores selling the tea in Huddersfield, Chorley, Bristol, Glasgow and Portsmouth. In Germany, McDonalds starting selling Bubble tea in 2012 in order to try and gain a slice of the ever popular market in this country.
SO why has this market grown so quickly?
Social media and TV exposure has captured some of the market, but according to Assad Khan, 35, who founded Bubbleology 6 years ago it’s the teenage and female target market! By opening stores inside Topshop he has created a huge buzz and increased demand for his product.”
Khan states ‘we’re also planning to introduce bubble tea to Leeds, Sheffield, Cambridge, Oxford, Nottingham, Bath and Brighton through malls and concessions.’ There will be 20 new store openings this year alone to meet demand. Bubbleology has become so popular is some areas of London that there are hour-long queues at peak times. Khan claims, ‘We’re actually causing a problem at Westfield. The lines are just too long.’” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/11051146/Have-you-tried-bubble-tea-yet.html
The company is also popular in other countries and is capitalizing on the growth and popularity of the product in countries such as Switzerland, Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Poland, and Russia.
So is there anything that could cause this growth to slow? Ask your students to do some research…
How can you link it to the A level course?
It also links well with so many topics throughout the A level course, marketing being a great one…
- Is this differentiation?
- Have they succeeded?
- Market growth/ share
- International markets
- What would Ansoff’s matrix say?
- What would Porter’s generic strategies suggest?
- How can these businesses continue to move forward in the future?
Ask students to complete research about this product and then engage them in a debate about the strategies that they have used and ask them to evaluate the success…
A brilliant new product concept to examine at any point of the course!!
Written by Donna Jestin, Business Studies Teacher.