Defining & Understanding Your Target Demographics

When considering opening a bubble tea shop, it is important to first consider who your key demographic is and build a customer profile based on your findings. Once you understand your customer base you will build a better knowledge of their flavor preferences and core values. In this blog, iBEV will discuss what we have learned from our years in the boba tea business and share it with you so you can better target customers and build a successful boba tea shop.

Customer Flavor Preferences

When considering your customers’ palette it is best to split them into three categories: the tea newbie, the tea moderate, and the tea enthusiast.

Tea Newbie: When we say a tea newbie, we mean a segment of customers who have had little previous exposure to bubble tea. If your customers consist mainly of these tea newbies we find they tend to prefer a highly sweet and fruity menu. Menu items best suited for tea newbies include slushies and fruit popping boba.

Tea Moderate: This group of customers have had some exposure to boba tea previously. The tea moderate tends to prefer a sweet tea experience. Menu items suited for tea moderates include fruity green tea and fruit jellies.

Tea Enthusiast: A tea enthusiast is a class of customers who have had extensive exposure to bubble tea. This group of customer prefers a bolder tea flavor with minimal sweetness. These customers seek out a quality tea experiences. Menu items best suited for the tea enthusiast include milk tea with a strongly brewed tea base, light sweetener, and tapioca pearls.


Customer Values


Once you have an idea of what your core customer type is, it is important to consider what their core values are and ensure they align with the core values of your business and its offerings. Below are some of the customer core values that have been expanding in the bubble tea business.

Eco-Friendly Options: Customers have become increasingly aware of their impact on the environment. Due to this many boba tea customers who share this value are being drawn to shops who offer eco-friendly options over single use plastics. If your customers value being sustainable, you should likely consider adding a customized reusable cup and straws to your merchandise offerings. In addition, many stores have began carrying bamboo fiber straws in replacement of typical plastic straws despite the products higher price. The reasoning for this added investment is broaden your customer reach.

Vegan Options: Many customers have began adopting a vegan diet for environment, health, social, and personal reasons. However, just because this segment of customers cannot consume traditional dairy products does not mean they should be excluded from the milk tea experience. For these reasons it is import to have vegan milk options, like the Vegan Italian Koita Milk iBEV offers to our customers. Lucky for you many classic tea toppings, like tapioca and agar, already offer your customers a vegan topping option.


We hope this helped to shed a light on how to build a customer profile when starting your boba tea business plan. Understanding who you plan to sell to helps in the next stages of your business plan such as building your concept, finding the right location, making a menu, and developing a system which we will go over in our next blog postings.