The Chinese milk tea brand Mixue Bingcheng Ice Cream and Tea has opened its first store in Australia, following years of success in the Southeast Asian market.
Mixues’s new Sydney outlet, located in the World Square shopping centre, opened its doors on February 12th and further stores in Brisbane and Melbourne are expected soon. The brand targeted students for its Australian launch with the promotional slogan “1000 Sydney students enjoy a drink for free!”.
Mixue Ice Cream and Tea was established in 1997 by a college student named Zhang Hongchao with the help of his grandma’s life savings. Its logo features its mascot the Snow King in primary colours, making it reminiscent of the classic U.S. brand Dairy Queen. The brand opened its first overseas store in Vietnam in 2018 and to date has 600 stores in 11 Asian countries on top of the 21,000 stores in China.
Southeast Asia is a popular location for milk tea brands looking to expand operations outside of China. The region’s temperate climate means that refreshing teas are popular year-round, but brands must still adapt as Southeast Asian customers reportedly prefer sweet and indulgent options over lighter taste varieties.
The rapid global expansion of Mixue has been the subject of several popular memes circulating on social media over the past few months, particularly among Indonesian internet users. The most well-known meme, called ‘Random Mixue’ shows photoshopped images of the Mixue mascot and logo appearing in bizarre locations.
Bubble tea is already a staple in Australia, according to the site Good Food, and several Chinese and Taiwanese tea chains like Happy Lemon, Coco, and Xingfu Tang are well-established there. Mixue’s family-friendly branding and playful campaigns featuring hoards of mascots may help it stand out from the competition – drawing in a base of Australian customers beyond the typical student demographic.