How UK’s Bubble Tea Suppliers Are Meeting the Growing Demand

The Rise of Bubble Tea in the UK

In recent years, the UK has seen a rise in an underdog in the world of beverages, which is none other than bubble tea. What started as a niche trend originating in Taiwan in the 1980s has evolved into a mainstream phenomenon. The introduction of bubble tea to the UK was easily accepted as tea is the drink British people are known for and to them, bubble tea could be said to be tea with toppings. In 2011, the first bubble tea shop was opened in Soho.

Since then, bubble tea outlets have popped up across many cities and towns, whether in high streets, shopping malls and universities across the UK.

During the pandemic, bubble tea grew in popularity amongst people in the UK and Europe and it has spread to diverse demographics ever since. Another factor that boosted the drink’s popularity is social media sharing as the drink itself is enticing with its colourful hues, toppings and special menus. The hashtag ‘bubbleteauk’ with 3.9 million views on TikTok and over 5000 posts on Instagram.

As the bubble tea craze continues to sweep across the UK, the UK bubble tea market growth tells a compelling story. According to the market study mentioned in Bubble Tea in the UK, the bubble tea market is expected to grow at 8.5% CAGR over the next 10 years.

Not only this, the International Tea Committee (ITC), reports that tea consumption has increased 113% to 6.7 million metric tons in 2022, which is over double the previous 20 years’ consumption.


The Challenge of Authenticity: What Suppliers Face

However, with the growing demand comes the challenge of maintaining authenticity. It is critical to know the importance of sourcing from trusted bubble tea suppliers. Bubble tea's charm lies in its ingredients and the preparation that goes into each serving. UK suppliers find themselves navigating a delicate balance to ensure that the drink retains its originality amidst tailoring the drink to local tastes.

For bubble tea enthusiasts, authenticity is key and for bubble tea enthusiasts, distinguishing the quality of products comes naturally. Suppliers face the challenge of sourcing and incorporating genuine ingredients that stay true to the traditional recipe, offering customers an authentic taste of Taiwan

Consistency is the heartbeat of any successful bubble tea business. Suppliers grapple with the task of maintaining a steady and reliable supply chain for essential ingredients. This includes overcoming challenges in sourcing tapioca pearls, tea leaves and other components crucial to the drink.


Championing Authenticity: Our commitment

Despite challenges, we, as the leading bubble tea suppliers in the UK, are committed to championing authenticity. Our dedication to providing the best to our customers sets us apart in a competitive market. The evidence that demonstrates our dedication to the quality and safety of customers is our certifications: ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, SALSA, BRCGS and GFSI.


Local vs. Imported

One of the dilemmas faced by bubble tea suppliers is the decision between sourcing locally and importing ingredients. Each approach comes with its own set of benefits and challenges.

Local sourcing reduces the cost as well as carbon footprint associated with transportation. However, suppliers must navigate seasonal availability and potential variations in quality. Traceability is better when the supply comes from a local source Sourcing locally also means that the products are more tailored to local tastes and the product rangers are adaptive to fit bubble tea trends in the UK.

Many drink shops produce seasonal or festive menus and with bubble tea, it is no different. Local suppliers often offer products that align closely with local tastes and preferences and can thus, satisfy customer’s demands in different seasons and holidays. The universal drink in the UK, tea, has a variety which has flavours dedicated to different seasons for example, peppermint, chamomile, ginger and fruit-flavoured tea. Coffee stores, for example, introduce pumpkin spiced latte for fall or hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles for Christmas. The opportunities are vast in the world of bubble tea from different toppings, cream foams and syrups, shops can create new menus for different occasions.

Importing ingredients, especially those native to Taiwan is a way of ensuring the authentic taste and texture of bubble tea. However, importing ingredients could pose issues related to global supply chain dependency and use up more time on researching international trade regulations.

The UK's bubble tea scene is not just a trend but a cultural shift that has found its place among the diverse tastes of the population. Our commitment of suppliers to authenticity and quality, coupled with the innovative spirit of bubble tea shops, ensures that this classic drink continues to satisfy the UK's growing demand. Cheers to the bubble tea revolution in the UK and the next generation of bubble tea.