South East Asia’s largest bubble tea chain, which is also considering a US launch, says its drive-thru format and versatile business model caters to increasing demand for convenience across North America
The Somerset Street Tealive outlet in downtown Ottawa | Photo credit: Tealive
Malaysian bubble tea chain Tealive has made its North America debut with a store in Ottawa, Canada.
The company, owned by food and beverage operator Loob Holding, said it will open 50 outlets across Canada in the next five years before a potential move into the US market.
Tealive currently operates 800 stores in its native Malaysia, following its launch in 2017.
The company has ambitious South East Asia growth plans, and is targeting 1,000 Tealive stores in Malaysia within two years.
However, having been approached by an ‘established business group’ involved in running pastry and bakery businesses in North America, Loob Holding said its drive-thru focus and ‘scalable’ format makes it compatible with the Canadian market.
“This entry into Canada and planned expansion across the country will give us an opportunity to learn more about the North American market up close. So, we may tap into the lucrative US market next.
“Our partners have travelled to South East Asia where they’ve been exposed to Tealive. They like our brand’s reach, our format being scalable with many store sizes and that we’re in petrol stations. They are impressed with our focus on the drive-thru market as drive-thrus are a staple in the North American market. They recognise our versatile business model and are sure this would be an ideal format for a Western market like the US,” said Bryan Loo, CEO, Loob Holding Sdn
Tealive now operates stores across Malaysia, Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Mauritius, Myanmar, the Philippines, the UK and Vietnam.