In the last decade we have seen several shifts in consumer behavior. Consumers have been looking for options that offer increased convenience or can be consumed on-the-go. One beverage that has been gaining global popularity is bubble tea.

What is bubble tea?

Bubble tea, a Taiwanese drink that has become extremely popular around the world, is a type of tea that is mixed with sweetened milk, fruit juice or other flavoring. The bubbles in the tea come from the tapioca balls added to the drink. These small balls of starch expand when they are put in hot water and add a unique texture to the drink. Traditional bubble tea, also known as boba tea, is a drink that is made with black tea, milk, and tapioca pearls. The tapioca pearls are made from a starch that is extracted from cassava root. Boba tea has evolved over the years to include a variety of different flavors and topping choices that expand beyond tapioca balls to include toppings like jellies, popping fruit pearls, egg pudding, and red beans. Even in classic boba, the milk in the milk tea was swapped out for non-dairy creamer, and as a result, the drink became known for its incredibly sweet, creamy taste.

Bubble milk tea on wooden table with spoon displaying tapioca pearls

The History of bubble tea

This is a drink that originates from Taiwan and was invented in the 1980’s, and has become popular throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim countries such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. The drink quickly found its way to mature markets such as North America and Germany. As the popularity grew, many new variants were developed. These resulted in new flavors such as mango, peach, pomegranate, and many more on a base of black tea, white tea, green tea, or oolong tea.

The market is expected to be worth more than USD $ 2 Billion by 2027

This delicious drink has become immensely popular in Asia and is now branching out into other countries around the world. Specialty Tea shops serving boba tea have also been growing in popularity across North America. The market for bubble tea is anticipated to grow post-COVID with a CAGR of 7.4% (2021-2028) with the Asia Pacific region seeing the biggest growth. Emerging markets are also picking up on the trend and see healthy increase in consumption. Source: Global Bubble Tea Market: Post COVID-19 CAGR expected to reach 7.4% (

An Expanding Industry Means More Opportunities for Manufactures

A top down view of a plate holding a variety of popular milk tea toppings and ingredients.Bubble tea is a huge market, and one that is projected to grow even bigger. There is also a low number of manufactures that produce shelf-stable bubble tea, making this a great opportunity for any company looking to get into the food or beverage industry. A great way for companies to differentiate themselves in the market is to produce tea with familiar flavors like banana, apple, kiwi, strawberry, watermelon, coffee, chocolate, and others. More exotic flavors of bubble tea that manufactures can include are ginger, mocha, sesame, lavender, rose, lychee, avocado, jackfruit, dragon fruit, taro, and passion fruit to add a unique twist. Including specialty toppings such as red bean, fresh fruit, cheese cream, popping boba, or shaped jellies can be added to the bubble tea to stand out among the competition. All these factors are estimated to generate huge growth opportunities in the upcoming years.

How JBT can help companies market the highest quality shelf-stable bubble tea?

JBT can help companies market the highest quality shelf-stable bubble tea. We have solutions for the filling and preservation steps in the production process of bubble teas and also utilize JBT’s Research Technology Center in Belgium to help manufacturers with product development and testing.

Interested in learning more about how we can help you? Please fill out the contact form and one of our specialists will contact you.


As the market continues to grow, manufactures will have an opportunity to grow their product lines and gain market share. JBT is here to partner with you to product shelf-stable bubble tea. We have the technology, expertise, and experience to help you bring your brand to market with the highest quality bubble tea drinks.