Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Flood of bubble tea competition for Chatime franchise

Flood of bubble tea competition for Chatime franchise

Flood of bubble tea competition for Chatime franchise

Cambodian operations of Taiwanese bubble tea chain Chatime have felt the impact of increased competition, with the local franchise holder projecting slower growth this year in a market saturated by a wave of similar beverage brands.

Lim Nira, CEO of Brand Management, which holds the franchise for Chatime in Cambodia, said yesterday that the chain’s growth in the Kingdom peaked in 2013, but has slowed during the last four years on increased competition from other international chains entering the market.

“The market is now saturated,” he said.“Our business is still stable because our sales have not declined. There is still growth, it is just not as strong as before.”

He added that as other international franchises have flooded Cambodia, offering nearly identical products in a limited market, there has been a decline in demand to open new Chatime branches.

While Nira declined to disclose the company’s revenue figures, he confirmed that Chatime’s footprint has shrunk from 19 outlets in 2015 to 16 this year.

“But Chatime will manage to survive because we have a client base that knows our brand very well,” he said, adding that his customers tend to be bubble tea enthusiasts below the age of 30.

Phnom Penh has emerged as a battleground for coffee and tea franchises, with Chatime going head to head with other Taiwanese bubble tea chains, such as Dakasi and Koi Café.

The competition has already claimed casualties. Last June, Cambodia-based Brown Coffee closed all five locations of its Taiwanese bubble tea franchise Gong Cha claiming that profits had underperformed. Rival chain ShareTea has also closed locations in the capital.

In addition to bubble tea, consumers have a vast variety of beverage choices that include such name brands as the UK’s Costa Coffee, Australia’s Gloria Jean’s and American giant Starbucks.

However, a new emerging player is Thailand’s Café Amazon which has aggressively rolled out 34 branch stores as of the end of March, becoming one of Cambodia’s newest and most popular coffee chains.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the