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Leading milk tea brands plot Australian expansion

Major milk tea brands Gotcha and Chatime have disclosed Australian expansion plans and their focus during the next few years. 

The assistant MD of Gotcha, Christy Chen, told our sister title Inside Franchise Business, that the brand is set to open 20 new stores by the end of the year. 

“Gotcha will continue to focus on the interior of our stores to deliver an elevated level of design,” Chen said. 

Launching in 2018, the brand now operates more than 20 stores across the country. Gotcha aims to expand to Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and Singapore this year, and is expanding its store network in Indonesia. 

“We are very confident the bubble-tea market will continue to grow, especially as we expand into international regions.”

Meanwhile, rival Chatime, said it will add 29 more stores to its existing 126 franchises in Australia this year. 

“As of right now, we currently have over 50 per cent of our target locked in,” said Andrew Benefield, chief development officer at Chatime. 

The company expects the market will consolidate to just two to three key players including itself. Chatime’s goal is to hit 250 stores across the country during the next five years. At the same time, it will shift its focus to be more environmentally friendly and reduce plastic waste. 

“Chatime is currently working on Project Happy Turtle, which aims for us to completely eradicate single-use plastic within our stores across Australia,” Benefield said. “We’ve tried this through the introduction of reusable bubble-tea cups, as well as paper straws across the network.”

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