LIT­TLE CHA

Inside Franchise Business - - Industry Spotlight -

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.

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