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Beverage ingredient maker transforming into bubble tea activist

Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 15 March 2021

Shang Tongone of Taiwan’s top 3 beverage ingredient manufacturers, is now transforming itself into a bubble tea activist by offering various one-stop services as well as chain store consultancy and guidance to help promote the special, chewy drink around the globe.

Founded in 1979 as a wholesaler of raw materials and a big provider of self-roasted flavored coffee beans in Taiwan, Shang Tong now boasts six factories manufacturing some 300 food and beverage ingredients, exported to 60 countries. The experienced ingredient provider vows it is able to provide tailor-made products and meet all kinds of needs when it comes to beverages, breakfast and desserts.
With 40 years of experience in the beverage industry, Chen Chia-Sheng, chairman of Shang Tong, emphasized its tailor-made services, adding that they can adjust the texture, flavor, sweetness and even help develop new formulas to meet clients’ needs.

The company is one of Taiwan’s top 3 beverage ingredient manufacturers with an annual turnover of approximately      USD3.5 million, 60 percent of which comes from export sales. It sells  its products to the Philippines, Malaysia, the U.S., the UAE, the UK, etc. In line with the government’s New South Bound policy, it aims to include Vietnam and Indonesia in its export market territory this year.

However, selling products does not seem to be good enough for Chen. He aims at promoting bubble tea and the culture worldwide, selling services and promoting concepts. Shang Dao was also the first Taiwanese company to enter mainland China.

Chen is full of ideas, so marketing is also one of the company’s strengths. Bubble tea in a different container, such as a light-bulb-shaped glass, doesn’t just stirs interest but also generates sales, the company consulting team noted.
Few may know that there is a special angle or posture for shaking the bubble milk tea. The special angle helps the ice in the shaker to thoroughly mix the ingredients and cool down the temperature, according to Chen. With their assistance, “it is easier to Dubbed the bubble tea activist, we can somewhat contribute the global sensation of the special, sweet, chewy drink to the 62-year-old ambitious man. [1]
open a bubble milk tea shop,” the company touted, [2] adding that they have already helped guide 2,000 brands to start their own businesses.
Currently, the company’s clients vary from marketing/commercial channels and restaurants to franchise chain stores, ODMs and distributors around the world.

To enhance its presence on the island and inspire more people to join their league, the New Taipei-based company also set up a tourism factory, Kili-Bay, in the northeastern part of Taiwan in 2015. Kili-Bay is the world’s first tourism factory featuring bubble tea making and its related knowledge, giving educational tours and allowing visitors to have their own self-made bubble milk tea. As a green, low-carbon emission construction, the factory is also standing proof of the company’s care for the Earth. “We aim to provide quality beverages to our customers and protect the environment,” the founder said.

The activist aims to promote the bubble tea culture with various approaches. Rather than solely selling products and searching for overseas distributors and agents, the company extends its services by offering online courses and consultancy, as well as assisting interested parties in setting up their own brands and chain stores. Over the past few years, the company has shifted its role from a sole beverage manufacturer and developer to a versatile teashop chain store consultancy. Grasping the global sensation of bubble tea, the company aims to offer training courses to those,      local and abroad, who would like to have their own teashop or chain store.

From branding, marketing and talent cultivating to shop design, source materials and even equipment, the company aims to provide one-stop service to anyone interested in the industry. Now the company hosts workshops and webinars, trying to expand both its scope and its client base.

Taiwan’s beverage market is quite mature, and despite its slight increase each year, local companies are eyeing more opportunities overseas. Statistics show that the bubble tea market value is forecast to reach US$4.3 billion in 2027.



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