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Secret to I-Mei Milk Tea craze at Costco is its 'thickness'

I-Mei CEO Luis Ko reveals the secret behind the success of I-Mei Milk Tea at Costco in Taiwan

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Secret to I-Mei Milk Tea craze at Costco is its 'thickness'

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After a series of mad buying frenzies of I-Mei's Milk Tea (義美厚奶茶) broke out in late September at Costcos across Taiwan, many have been wondering exactly what about this particular brand of milk tea makes it so desirable. Hsieh Chin-ho (謝金河), chairman of Investment Media and Wealth Magazine, learned the secret from I-Mei Foods CEO Luis Ko (高志明).

In a post on his Facebook page, Hsieh said during a recent lunch with Ko, they chatted over the topic of the company's recent success with its milk tea being sold at Costcos. Ko explained that it is the "thickness" of the tea which comes from a combination of Ceylon Black Tea and 50 percent fresh milk, and that it is pure high-grade milk.

Another factor is that three bottles are selling at the members-only warehouse club for just NT$135 (US$4.46). I-Mei signed an exclusive deal with Costco to sell this particular line of milk tea, and it has lately become the most popular product in the wholesale club's inventory.

Hsieh said that he had recently read about "zombie armies' buying I-Mei Milk Tea at Coscto, which reportedly were "daigou" (Chinese term meaning purchases on behalf of someone else) purchases of three bottles of the milk tea for NT$650. In response to the demand by foreign buyers, Ko revealed that he plans sell the product overseas and in order to increase production, an emergency order for new machines from Denmark has been placed.

The burgeoning demand for I-Mei's Milk Tea has also also been a boon for Taiwan's dairy farmers. Though the price of milk was down last winter, it may rise this winter as I-Mei has signed a new contract with dairy farmers which raised the rate it pays for dairy products.

Secret to I-Mei Milk Tea craze at Costco is its 'thickness'
(Image from Hsieh Chin-ho Facebook page)