It looks like the bubble tea craze isn’t going anywhere soon—at least, according to GrabFood data that states bubble tea orders in Southeast Asia saw a 3,000 percent growth rate in 2018. In the Philippines alone, orders increased by 3,500 percent from June to December 2018.
As of December 2018, GrabFood’s bubble tea network encompasses over 1,500 brands with 4,000 outlets throughout Southeast Asia. Some of these brands include regional favorites Chatime, Coco Fresh Tea & Juice, Macao Imperial Tea, Ochaya, Koi Tea, Cafe Amazon, The Alley, iTea, Gong Cha, and Serenitea.
Proving the beverage’s growing popularity, GrabFood estimated that Southeast Asians drink four cups of the tea-based drink per person per month. Thailand landed at the top of the list followed closely by Filipino consumers who reportedly drink five cups per person per month.
Among the top flavors for Filipinos are cheese, milk tea with pearl, wintermelon, pandan, and chocolate, with pearls as the leading bubble tea topping followed by cheese and pudding. According to GrabFood, bubble tea drinkers are also more likely to order the drink during lunch time on all days of the week, confirming that it’s the perfect complement to a midday meal.
If social media is anything to go by, it’s easy to understand why people love this beverage. With the number of bubble tea drinkers on GrabFood surpassing a growth rate of 12,000 percent in 2018, it’s clear that this drink craze is only getting started.