Little Cha is the latest bubble tea brand to hit the franchise market, focusing on bringing a western twist to the traditional iced tea industry. The brand was established in 2017 and quickly grew its network to nine stores in 18 months, before launching its franchise model in September.
The team behind Little Cha was inspired to bring bubble tea out of metropolitan regions and into the focus of local Aussie communities.
“Australians love anything fresh, fruity and trendy. Not to mention the popularity of Asian brands and concepts in Australia – as a nation we are very open to trying new things,” says the Little Cha founder.
The brand’s focus on western demographics has provided Little Cha with a key advantage in the highly competitive Australian market, with a diverse offering specialised for Australian tastes.
“Around 70 per cent of the Little Cha customer base originates from westernised culture. This is a very good indication that we are reaching our goals and target market,” he says.
“We have tailored our flavours and bubble tea varieties to suit everyone but have especially focused on providing popular and recognisable options to cater for people from a westernised background.”
Food retailing in Australia is a competitive market, meaning brands have to focus on differentials and innovations to survive, however the categoric success of bubble tea has shown that growth is achievable with a niche offering.
For this reason, Little Cha has developed a strategy that focuses on regional Australian locations with little bubble tea competition, maximising market share and growth potential for franchisees.
“The bubble tea industry has extreme high growth potential. If you look back to five years ago, bubble tea was a concept very fresh and unknown to Australians, compared to now where the product is a known and loved staple in Australians diets. While there is still a focus on the Asian demographic, we know and believe that there is room for growth for the western demographic also.”
The Little Cha chain now has 10 locations across New South Wales and Western Australia with the brand targeting six new stores in the next 12 months, comprised of both the sale of existing stores and the opening of new greenfield sites.
Plans are already in place to bring the Little Cha to Taiwan and other neighbouring countries over the next two to three years.