The Blurred Line Between Boba Tea And Fast Food

In recent years, boba tea has been one of the top trendsetters in the world of specialty beverages that never fails to draw a crowd. It's unique, aesthetically striking, and usually comes in an array of fun colors and flavors to sip on. The market for these beloved pearl-infused milk teas has been wildly successful in America and is projected to increase in value in years to come with the growing popularity of cafes and coffee shop culture. To capitalize on its proven success, more and more fast food restaurants are beginning to offer the fan-favorite Taiwanese drink on menus throughout the country. It makes sense for chains like Dunkin' and Panda Express to experiment with boba flavors and poppable bubble add-ons as they've done in the past, but now even more fast food restaurants are looking to give it a go.

West Coast-based burger joint Jack in the Box has also hopped on the boba tea bandwagon and will be testing out three flavors in a few locations. San Diego, Torrance, and Long Beach are the Californian cities that will get to experience the roll-out of the new Asian-inspired drinks first. These new flavors will include a creamy and classic Milk Tea Boba with added vanilla, Iced Coffee with Boba, and a tea-flavored Vanilla Shake with Boba, topped with whipped cream. As bubble tea makes its way into the realm of fast food, it's got us wondering if similar chains will follow suit.

Could Boba tea go mainstream at fast food chains?

It's likely that Jack in the Box could see its three new boba products sell successfully since California was the first state where the drink was sold in the '90s. With so many trendy bubble tea shops scattered across this state especially, there are bound to be more than a few excited fans ready to taste each drink for themselves. It does raise a question regarding how well the fast food eatery's own boba creations will stand up to the area's actual boba shops.

Kung Fu Tea is the self-proclaimed "OG of bubble tea" and holds the title of the largest brand to sell these tapioca pearl-filled drinks in over 350 locations throughout the U.S. The company doesn't appear to foresee losing out on profits to places like Jack in the Box and plans to hit a sales goal of $240 million in 2023. However, even the biggest fast food restaurant in the world, McDonald's, has already hopped on the boba train in countries like Germany, Austria, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. It may only be a matter of time until other American quick-service chains could start adding items like bubble tea, making it a more commonplace and possibly expected fast food item.