Could a $1 bubble tea brand from China be poised to take over the world?

Could a $1 bubble tea brand from China be poised to take over the world?

October 20, 2022
Mixue Bingcheng Co. Ltd. (MXBC), a Chinese ice cream and tea franchise that sells $1 bubble teas, has outgrown its rivals and become the top bubble tea brand in China. 
MXBC, which is represented by a snowman-logo and has over 21,000 locations in China, was first founded by Zhang Hongchao in Zhengzhou, Henan province, in 1997. From the beginning, the brand marketed to lower-tier markets, targeting price-sensitive students and workers.
The brand was established in 1999, and in 2006, it found its place in the market by selling 2 yuan (approximately $0.30) ice cream cones. By selling items priced lower than most brands, MXBC soon became the bestselling bubble tea brand in China. 
In 2021, MXBC was estimated to hold a valuation of 20 billion yuan (approximately $2.8 billion), beating premium bubble tea brands such as Nayuki’s Tea and Hey Tea. Last year, the brand earned a revenue of 10.3 billion yuan (approximately $1.4 billion). Today, their bubble milk tea sells for 7 yuan (approximately $1). 
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

While other brands operate spacious dine-in stores, MXBC operates shops in small cities with lower income levels and mostly serves takeout only. The company established its own central factory and R&D center to self-produce most of its core ingredients, keeping their production costs at a minimum.
“Our own Research and Development Center makes the best products possible,” the brand wrote on their website. “We source high-quality ingredients globally. Our patents and cutting-edge know-how enable us to produce core ingredients independently with strict standards applied.”
The brand’s success reflects on the cost-conscious Chinese citizens, especially during the nation’s strict zero-COVID approach. As the pandemic brought on unemployment, MXBC emerged as an employer for those in lower-tier cities.
The company has since applied for an initial public offering on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. MXBC has also expanded abroad by opening in Vietnam and Indonesia, where it operates a total of nearly 600 stores. The brand has also registered its trademark in about 30 markets, including the U.S., Europe, Japan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
Featured Image via Just.In.Videos
      Michelle De Pacina

      Michelle De Pacina is a New York-based Reporter for NextShark




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.