The Adaptation of Gong Cha
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(July 2013)Gong Cha’s logo Gong Cha is a Taiwan-style drink shop franchise originally from Kaohsiung. Its first Hong Kong location opened in 2006, and by 2012 it had further expanded internationally and established branches in eight regions, namely Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, mainland China, and the Philippines. HistoryGong Cha’s first Hong Kong store was established in 2006 by a Hong Kong native who had lived in Taiwan for five years. As of 2012, it had about forty-six stores in the city, mainly in MTR stations and shopping centers. Gong Cha serves a total of about fifty-seven different drinks, which can be divided into seven types: house specials, brewed tea, milk tea, “Creative Mix”, coffee, “Healthy Series”, and ice smoothies.
The most popular one in Hong Kong is “Gong Cha Milk Green Tea”, containing a lower layer of brewed tea covered by an upper layer of special creamer. Plasticisers in drinksMain article: 2011 Taiwan food scandal In May 2011, a scandal broke out in Taiwan when many drinks were found to contain DEHP, a plasticiser which was added as a clouding agent in order to improve the appearance of the drinks. Ingestion of DEHP is known to cause heart problems and to affect male genital development. When the news spread to Hong Kong, this led to sharply-decreased sales for Taiwan-style drink shops; one Gong Cha branch in Causeway Bay reported a decrease in revenue of thirty percent.Other competitors had to cease operations entirely. Gong Cha took a variety of actions to restore consumer confidence in the products, such as conducting tests on ingredients imported from Taiwan in order to prove their safety.
It stopped using ingredients which might contain plasticisers, and in June 2011 discontinued certain kinds of juices in its Hong Kong branches.