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Tealive 'Flips' Marketing As It Heads Into Philippines

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Tealive is expanding into Manila and has appointed Mike Dumaual to lead its operations as GM. The Southeast Asian tea chain said on LinkedIn that Dumaual will be leading the charge on business operations across the Philippines, including store expansion strategy and boosting the Tealive brand to be Philippines’ preferred lifestyle tea brand.

Meanwhile, Dumaual has over 22 years of experience with a focus on marketing and brand management, in the F&B and FMCG sectors with such as Mang Inasal, Jollibee, and Burger King. “I’m truly excited to lead Tealive’s grand entry into the Philippine market, knowing how milk tea-crazy this country is. The ambition is not just to make it a milk tea player but a major and respected F&B lifestyle brand that Filipinos will love," he said.

Bryan Loo, CEO of Loob Holding, told A+M that the Philippines is its first market entry together with its new private equity partner Creador. "Filipinos are, no doubt, huge lovers of milk tea products in Southeast Asia. Together with Creador's extensive local resources in the Philippines, we decided to enter this market to build the next well-loved homegrown milk tea brand.

"Our vision is to expand 30 outlets by the end of 2022 and double our store count every other year", Bryan Loo said.

As part of its launch into this new market, Tealive is rolling out the Aren Palm Sugar Series. According to Loo, "Aren" captures the brand's unique selling point as a brand originating from the tropics. The aren palm is an all-natural sweetener derived from the Aren pinnata palm tree that is native to countries in Asia including Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. For Tealive's latest sugar series, Loo said the ingredient is directly sourced from Borneo.

The Aren Palm Sugar Series is touted to be sweet yet savoury and according to Loo, the drink's thick texture requires it to be flipped over for the ingredients to be mixed. It will also be marketed as a healthier choice for consumers since it has a lower glycemic index of 35, as compared to table sugar (68) and honey (55). According to Loo, the aren palm ingredient is better than brown sugar. The glycemic index is used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels.

To promote its new sugar series in the Philippines, Tealive has introduced the concept of "Welcome to the Flip Life", emphasising on "The Flip" which Loo explained is a serving ritual that mixes the drink elements creatively. For its marketing efforts, Tealive will focus on showing the sugar flowing throughout the cup when the drink is flipped to create the signature lava effect.

This is in line with its brand manifesto which is to break the rules to seek excitement. As consumers constantly crave for the unexpected, Tealive has also flipped its world upside down and learnt to innovate and explore new territories. It has learnt to look at new perspectives and the tea brand aims to push that brand manifesto to consumers too, making it known that with Tealive, they can choose to "Drink Different".

Creador acquired a 30% stake in Tealive's parent company, Loob Holding, last June, marking its 39th investment since its inception in 2011. Loob was chosen as its first investment in the fast-growing F&B sector citing its substantial revenue growth and having over 650 stores in less than five years. The tea brand currently has more than 550 outlets globally including China, Australia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, and the UK.

Last November, it partnered Carsome to set up Carsome Inspection Points at selected Tealive outlets nationwide, allowing both companies to leverage each other's expertise and retail experience. Loo said previously that he hopes the partnership will increase traffic to its outlets and diversify its customer base.

A few weeks later, Tealive bought a 35% stake in kombucha (fermented tea) brand WonderBrew as it builds on its aim to become the largest drinks portfolio company in Southeast Asia. WonderBrew is available at over 700 locations.


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