By FARA AISYAH
Loob Holding Sdn Bhd has launched the first of its planned 500 Tealive stores in China, by opening the maiden outlet in Shanghai on Monday.
Loob CEO Bryan Loo said the company plans to have 20 outlets in China by June 2019.
Early this year, Loob Holding entered into a joint venture with two Chinese companies, Zhejiang Boduo International Trade Co Ltd and Shanghai Panfei International Trade Co Ltd to open 500 stores in China in three years.
With China being the world’s largest tea market and the fourth overseas market for Tealive, Loo said they decided to create a specific menu for China to showcase South-East Asian ingredients including durian, cempedak, gula melaka, Bentong ginger and Sabah origin tea.
Tealive has been launched in Australia and Vietnam.
The company plans to expand in India through the appointment of World Iconic Brands Hospitality Pte Ltd as the master franchisee of the brand in the country’s market last May.
“Now, with our first step into China and the upcoming plans for India, we are en-route to growing Tealive as a truly authentic Malaysian lifestyle tea brand in the eyes of the world,” Loo said in a statement.
He added that Chinese consumers took a strong liking to Tealive’s specially created drinks for local market including hot drinks for the cold climate.
Among the quick crowd favourites were Durian Milkshake, Green Tea and Oolong Tea with Durian Mousse, as well as hot drinks such as Ginger Sabah Milk Tea, Superior Coco and Collagen Milk Tea.
Loo said the outlet also offered several options from its warm pearls, fruit tea, craft tea and milk tea categories.
Tealive has close to 200 outlets in Malaysia with 2.5 million consumers each month.
The Tealive brand was rebranded from Chatime, when Taiwan-based La Kaffa International Co Ltd the Chatime master franchisee terminated its contract with Loob in December 2016 (despite having 20 years left on the deal), following a dispute between the two parties in relation to the use of unauthorised ingredients and outstanding payments for raw materials.
However, both companies reached an out-of-court settlement on all disputes arising from the Chatime bubble tea brand in August.