Technomic - Global Foodservice Navigator

Four beverage concepts with rapid growth

Heytea from China opened more than 50 percent new stores in 2020 despite the pandemic.
IMAGO / Zuma Press
Heytea from China opened more than 50 percent new stores in 2020 despite the pandemic.

The bubble tea trend had been around a few years ago in Germany, but today it's not just coffee concepts that are generating strong sales. In their Global Beverage Menu Category Report, the market researchers at Technomic identified four international beverage concepts with rapid unit growth.

For background, thanks to new entrants around the world, many players in the café and specialty beverage categories have achieved impressive system growth despite the ongoing pandemic, according to Technomic. Fierce competition is not only leading to explosive store expansion, but also to product innovation and technical developments, especially in teas and coffee drinks.

Against this backdrop, Technomic takes a look at four of the world's fastest growing chains in the beverage category (calculated 2020).

  • With 720 units and rapid growth of 53% in 2020, China's Heytea - a pioneer of cheese tea (tea with a cream cheese crown) and other trendy offerings - is one of the fastest-growing specialty beverage chains in the world.
  • Another rapidly expanding player from China is Nayuki Tea & Bakery, which grew nearly 18% to 578 units. The chain is one of the first of several tea and beverage brands from the mainland to go public in the near future.
  • In the U.S., Smoothie King saw a similar 18% growth rate in 2020, bringing its total store count to just over 1,300.
  • Finally, in Russia, Coffee Like ended the year with around 713 locations, a strong 22% increase year-over-year. The chain is one of a number of local newcomers trying to secure a piece of the emerging coffee segment in the market.