Beverage Brands Overflowing Cambodian Market

chatime cambodia beverage chain
Phnom Penh has emerged as a battleground for tea and coffee franchises.

The impact of a saturated market for beverage brands in Cambodia has been felt by Taiwanese bubble tea chain Chatime, with the local franchise holder and CEO of Brand Management Lim Nara projecting slower growth this year.

Chatime’s growth peaked in 2013 but has slowed down since due to increased competition from other international chains offering near identical products, according to Nara. “The market is now saturated,” he said. “Our business is still stable because our sales have not declined. There is still growth, it is just not as strong as before.”

Despite losing three outlets over the past two years to now total 16 in the Kingdom, with no demand for new branches, Nara asserts that Chatime will survive here due to their young client base knowing the brand “very well”.

Casualties of the highly competitive, limited market have already been claimed, with Cambodia-based Brown Coffee closing all five locations of its Taiwanese bubble tea franchise Gong Cha, and rival ShareTea also shutting up shop in Phnom Penh.

Customers are spoilt for choice for beverage chains, including famous international coffee brands such as American giant Starbucks, the UK’s Costa Coffee, and Australia’s Gloria Jean’s. Thailand’s Café Amazon has garnered a strong following, aggressively opening 34 outlets in Cambodia as of the end of March.

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