Western Culture Taking New Approaches to Healthy Lifestyles

Kung Fu Tea

3. Good Health and Well-Being 5. Gender Equality 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth

Overview

Their goal as a company is to have the best tea in the market, by doing so they need to get the best and freshest ingredients. It is important for the brand as well as their marketing to show and remind that they have the best and most natural bubble tea in the market. Most shops use powder to make tea, which has other substances and extra sugars. Instead they use natural ingredients, including real fruit, which is something significantly different in taste that the consumers enjoy. With a different taste, they are making themselves ahead of the industry and accomplish their mission statement.

Authors

Bashyar Alzahrani

Bashyar Alzahrani

Isabella Garcia-Gonzalez

Isabella Garcia-Gonzalez

ZACHARY ALATORRE-DAVIES

ZACHARY ALATORRE-DAVIES

Chris Camacho

Chris Camacho

Enrique Blaschke

Enrique Blaschke

School

Fairleigh Dickinson University Silberman College of Business

Fairleigh Dickinson University Silberman College of Business

Professor

Kent Fairfield

Kent Fairfield

Innovation

The main focus of this innovation is the ingredient, real tea leaves. Many milk tea companies have been deemed unhealthy due to their sugar levels and ingredients in traditional milk tea drinks. Kung Fu Tea has formulated a recipe that does not use the usual amount of sugar. It also includes using real fruit, juice, and more importantly tea leaves in their beverages. What makes it special is that they are imported from Taiwan. This business model is different, since local mom and pop stores use powder with water, this is not bubble tea. The actual bubble tea Kung Fu Tea makes is with real tapioca, similar to taro roots. They also use honey, which does not add to taste, just texture when it comes to the tapioca balls. The honey is added like a topping, similar to gravy on mash potatoes. Since the tapioca is mostly a bland flavor, the raw honey is essential. While remaining true to its ingredients, Kung Fu Tea has also remained true to its culture. They are passionate about Asian culture and also plan to join with fast food chains in the United States in hopes to provide healthier options to U.S. consumers. Kung Fu Tea supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of (UN SDG) #8 of Economic Growth designation since it provides anyone to become a franchise owner with the opportunity worldwide. Additionally, Kung Fu Tea supports UN SDG # 3, Good Health and Well-being. Finally, they also support UN SDG #5, Gender Equality, by being an equal opportunity employer.

Kung Fu Tea is trying to bring to the U.S. what the traditional shop is, straight from Asia, so that those who come to Kung Fu Tea are getting the same product from Taiwan, like the real juice, fruit, and tea leaves. For example, small mango pieces and lychee are not common in dry states at all, but it's super popular in Asia, Japan, China or Korea. Real leche jam is a staple for tea, further assuring top-quality ingredients. "Real fruit, real tea" in the words of the Fort Lee owner, Jackie Lee.

Western Culture Taking New Approaches to Healthy Lifestyles

Inspiration

Kung Fu Tea according to Jackie Lee was started in Taiwan, one store was actually trying to make desserts and found more satisfaction in making the drinks. Traditional milk tea emerged from China. Kung Fu Tea follows the traditional way to make tea, however with a healthy twist. This coincides with SGD #5 since all employees need to learn then possess the skill of traditional tea making, such as analyzing how to cook a certain leaf in the right temperature based on size and type, they are kept at an equal standard. Originally in concept, Kung Fu Tea likes to bring in hard work quality and finding individuals who can be there to represent the center of the brand. Kung Fu Tea plans to expand more on their business since they have recognized that one of their areas for improvement in their marketing and one of the most common questions is when people ask, “What is bubble tea?” They want to have the opportunity to educate customers and expand Asian culture.

Another form of inspiration forms from the founders and their original idea to make a bubble tea store. Instead of incorporating the unhealthy ingredients that other bubble tea stores possess, they would rather focus on finding quality ingredients and spend more time brewing the tea the traditional way, which they do every three hours. This shows that they would rather give a healthy spin on their products, which helps with fulfilling a healthy living style they are promoting.

Overall impact

Kung Fu Tea is beginning a trend where people are looking for a more natural taste when it comes to bubble tea. This will improve the product here in the United States, and the tea will be more marketable. They are hoping to become leaders in this business here because people will notice them before others. They also hope to show other businesses how to properly train people for the job, to give them skills to make this special tea. This learning includes not only how to make it, but also how to serve it and more.

Kung Fu Tea has taken the initiative to make a product popular throughout the United States and convert it into a healthier option for its American consumers. Since its origination in China Town, New York City, two years ago, Kung Fu Tea has now teamed up with TKK fried chicken, a fast-food chain, in order to provide healthier beverages than carbonated drinks. This is proof that Kung Fu Tea is able to expand and convert some consumers to a more healthier option. By combining Eastern and Western culture along with a contact of their suppliers in Taiwan, they have been able to purchase authentic products, which helps them express the value of their products when it comes to quality.

Business benefit

Based on the culture saying ‘all for us’, they try to represent other options besides coffee and are actually pushing for the tea figuring out which tastes best. There are different types of the leaf that are different colors or different smell and thought that each culture would want to represent and it creates motivation that it's more than just making money or trying to grow. Kung Fu Tea staff is strong and has good customer service, as they look to be the best bubble tea shop. They get many comments from customers' feedback saying that all the prices are cheaper than those in surrounding stores. Training is a long process, such as spending time on training and being able to do it fast enough to learn the formula. What works is that the employees make it a game and competition for who can learn the most and by doing that it helps them gather more bonuses and tips for the store and it helps the store maintain its friendliness between employees and customer. The store has a friendly environment.

Additionally, the company has a selection of products that has expanded with over fifty drinks with different recipes for each and are also up for personal customization. They have added products such as yogurt, smoothies, custard, and juice. They have recently introduced digital app rewards as a way to improve their marketing and to engage more consumers. Kung Fu Tea is able to impact a healthier lifestyle by promoting traditional Asian tea culture with real fruit and ingredients rather than processed fruit and carbonated drinks. It appears that Kung Fu Tea will most likely continue to expand its impact on the world on healthy lifestyles.

Social and environmental benefit

The creation of the bubble tea did have some trouble when it first started because tapioca balls are actually clear white bubbles, however, people in Taiwan see anything white as unhealthy, poisonous, so they usually put brown sugar to make the tapioca balls darker. This was the unhealthy part of the bubble tea, so replacing with honey was an overall healthier choice. The first store started in Chinatown nearly two years ago, it was a good decision to have the first location in an Asian community and now they have expanded to Maryland, Texas, and now have 250 stores all over the world. This store is expanding on Asian culture along with bringing along their healthy recipes, gender equality, and economic growth destination.

Interview

Jackie Lee, Owner of Fort Lee Location

Photo of interviewee

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Kung Fu Tea

Kung Fu Tea

Fort Lee, New Jersey, US

Business Website: https://www.kungfutea.com/

Year Founded: 2009

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Kung Fu Tea is focused on delivering authentic taste and handcrafted beverages through the traditional brewing process. Despite the increase of bubble tea stores opening, Kung Fu Tea continues to diversify themselves by offering beverages made from premium ingredients, imported hand-picked tea leaves, and a unique brewing process.