Home Lifestyle Bubbling up: search data reveals popularity of bubble tea in UK and where it is most consumed

Bubbling up: search data reveals popularity of bubble tea in UK and where it is most consumed

by TKOAdmin

It is no secret that bubble tea is booming. But what may come as a surprise is where in the UK it is being slurped the most. And how consumers are searching more now for bubble tea than anything else tea-related.

With the UK market predicted to grow 225 per cent over the next 10 years, the bubble tea craze has truly embedded itself in the UK psyche.

But despite London having the highest volume of bubble tea shops, it has been pipped at the post for the title of UK Bubble Tea Capital by some notably smaller cities.

And they have all got something in common.

Student cities leading the way in Britain's bubble tea craze

Inspired by the growing bubble tea craze, Figment Agency, a London-based SEO specialist, used the data they know best to look at related trends.

First stop was pinpointing the keywords tea lovers used to find bubble tea locations. Next, they analysed monthly web search volumes for bubble tea-related terms, and used Google Maps to tally-up bubble tea locations UK wide.

The results revealed a firm trend… the highest bubble tea search volume per capita ALL came from university cities. And the city that towered above the rest despite having the smallest population? Cambridge!

The facts at a glance:

  • There are 7.5 bubble tea shops per 100,000 people in Cambridge
  • Bubble tea searches per capita in Cambridge are 34 per cent higher than second place Brighton, and nearly double Nottingham in third place
  • Almost one in every hundred people in Cambridge search Google for bubble tea every month

Emma Grant, director and head of SEO at Figment, admitted her surprise at the research findings.

“We were certain we’d see more bubble tea searches in London given its size and trend-setting reputation, so Cambridge was an unexpected reveal. And we had a feeling bubble tea was most popular amongst Gen Z and Millennials, but didn’t expect to see such a clear trend across the university towns.”

Bubble tea is now the most popular tea-related search term

Figment’s research also uncovered a shift in consumer behaviour around tea related web searches.

Search data revealed that for the most popular Google UK searches containing the word ‘tea’, bubble tea outstripped other phrases.

These included afternoon tea, green tea, Yorkshire Tea and Twinings. Bubble tea even trumped the word ‘tea’, with almost three times as many monthly searches.

Ajmeet Singh, who operates a T4 Bubble Tea store in Hayes, said: “I’ve witnessed first-hand the irresistible allure of bubble tea among younger generations.

The vibrant flavours and customisable options captivate the adventurous palates of today’s trendsetters.”

Conclusion – the value of search data in predicting trends

Whilst Figment’s research revealed interesting insights about bubble tea, it also showed how search data can predict consumer trends.

Emma Grant concluded: “Apart from discovering that university cities are the UK’s biggest bubble tea guzzlers, a big takeaway was that Google predicts a growing trend in bubble tea searches over the next 12 months. This kind of data is useful on so many levels, from assessing market demand and product development, to new business location planning.”

Jake Trimm, a student at Woking College in Surrey said: “It’s just so much nicer than tea and coffee. You have so many flavours to choose from. My mates and I always grab a Bubble Tea when we’re in town.”

For a more in-depth look at our Bubble Tea research visit our blog post on the subject.


Notes for editors

About the research

Semrush was used to pinpoint search terms being used to find bubble tea locations. Data was then gathered on monthly search volumes for those terms.

The number of bubble tea shops was mapped per city using Google Maps, with the number standardised per 100,000 inhabitants to ensure comparability despite differing city sizes.

Ahrefs was used to analyse tea-related keyword data, including search volumes.

Chart data was taken from Ahrefs average monthly searches in Google in the past 12 months from April 2023 – April 2024.

About Figment

Figment is an award-winning London SEO agency. Founded in 2006, the team is dedicated to helping businesses boost their online visibility and increase sales through tailored strategies and a unique partnership approach.

Contact Name:
Zach Argyle
Search Liason

Figment Agency
Contact Email:
click to reveal e-mail
Contact Phone:
+44 (0) 2036422228
Company Website:


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