Yum China forays into the milk tea cafe market

(Source: Grandpa Comfy Tea/ Weibo)

Yum China has launched its first Grandpa Comfy Tea store in Suzhou, marking its foray into China’s lucrative tea cafe market sector, according to Yincai Global. 

Spanning about 60sqm, Grandpa Comfy Tea’s first store is located in the Emerald Leisure Shopping Plaza. The branding was reportedly inspired by the Yangtze River Delta region, representing a colour palette of white, green and pink. Its logo features Colonel Sanders holding a cup of tea, a reference to Yum China’s KFC brand.

Targeting middle-class consumers, Grandpa Comfy Tea offers a selection of rice milk tea developed by the brand alongside ice creams created in partnership with Swedish alt-milk brand Oatly Group. 

Before launching a standalone store, Yum China tested the tea market through the launch of a series of 10 tea drink products at its dessert stations across the country in 2019. 

IiMedia Research projects China’s new tea drinks market will exceed US$44.7 million in sales this year, with a growth rate of 6.8 per cent. However, the market is considered risky for new players, with nearly 60 per cent of tea chain startups failing within three years, according to data from Tianyancha.

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