The innovator of “new-style tea” Hey Tea made its US debut this month, becoming the first Chinese tea chain to enter the world’s largest economy. This marks the fifth market Hey Tea has entered in the last 6 months after the UK, Canada, Australia, and Malaysia.
The new store, located in New York City’s Broadway, got off to a strong start, with the brand selling a record 2,500 cups on the first day of opening. Signature offerings like Very Grape Cheese and Roasted Brown Bobo Milk are among the bestsellers so far, which customers can nab for around 9 USD apiece.
The opening was accompanied by an impressive Times Square billboard, which promoted Hey Tea’s status as the definitive “new-style” tea brand. This is a reference to the brand’s emphasis on “real” ingredients (real milk, real fruit, real natural cane sugar) – one of the brand’s calling cards alongside its zeitgeisty marketing crossovers.
According to consulting firm Verified Market, the US tea drinks market is estimated to grow to 833 million USD by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.42%. So far, the market has been dominated by Taiwanese brands like ShareTea, Gong Cha, and Chatime, as well as a handful of homegrown chains like Kung Fu Tea and Boba Guys. But the arrival of Hey Tea could soon upset the status quo, as the brand cut its teeth in one of the world’s savviest consumer groups.
“As the initial entry point for Hey Tea into the US market, New York holds extraordinary significance for the growth of our brand,” Yujia Gu, Vice President of Strategy at Hey Tea, said in a statement. “Our goal is to drive an upgrade in the product landscape and continuously expand the space within the American tea drinks market.”