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Accepted Paper:

Global vs local taste trend: bubble tea in Finland  
Xinwei Zhang (University of Helsinki)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses how bubble tea, as a popular culture, influences Finnish youth's choice of drinks through its dissemination on social media.

Paper long abstract:

Bubble tea is today a worldwide phenomenon. Starting in Taiwan in the 1980s, this way of combining tea and multiple other ingredients, such as milk, tapioca, and various sweet materials, is today expanding all over the world (Anon, 2020, Từ, 2020). In line with other European countries, especially Germany and the UK (BBC, 2014), bubble tea has gone from having practically no presence in Finland to becoming an increasingly common and noticeable form of urban beverage consumption in Helsinki in a very short time. Even three years ago, there were practically no bubble tea shops and cafes in the greater Helsinki area. Now there are significant numbers, and these are growing all the time. But different from most other places, where their customers are mainly Asian, the Finnish teenagers are one of the most prominent groups of customers of bubble tea shops in Finland.

The popularity of bubble tea on social media, such as TikTok and Instagram, aroused the desire of Finnish youth for bubble tea. They realized their desire for middle-class consumption through bubble tea, participating in the production of global pop culture.

Panel P150a
Food and Digitalization: Issues of Visibility, Exploitation and Sustainability [EASA Food Network]
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -