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Posts tagged ‘tea’

The downside of convenience stores in Indonesia

Convenience stores are now everywhere and in every corner of the world.

Indonesia can now be said as a country with a million mini markets or convenience stores, and in the future will be a country with a million malls.

They are everywhere in Indonesia. Well, they are convenient but the convenience come with the downside.
It is that the service is too rigid and formal. People come in, take what they need, go to the counter, and pay for them. There are chit chats sometimes, but it feels like it’s just for formality.
It is the same with malls. The service is no different compared to convenience stores. What is worse, they are growing rapidly in numbers. It’s not weird to see two competitive convenience store side by side.

Though, it’s not that weird to see the growth since they are quick to pick up the trend in Indonesia. The convenience stores use the concept of mini market and a cafe. Indonesian people welcome it as youngsters love to hang out with their friends.

But, the formal and rigid service really wastes the kindness and warmth of Indonesian people. You can not find this kindness in those malls or convenience stores.
If you want, you can find it in a ‘warteg‘ (warung Tegal or Tegal stalls). Basically, they sell food and drinks with a very cheap price if compared to convenience store and malls. Fried rice, instant noodle, coffee, iced sweetened tea and other kinds of food can be found there with a fair price.

It is here where you can find kindness, having a chit chat with Indonesian people. The food is not bad too, although you might need a stomachache medicine like Norit because your stomach need to get used to Indonesian food.

(See this video below about a ‘warteg‘)

Sadly, the numbers of ‘warteg‘ are decreasing. It seems Indonesian people are moving towards efficiency rather than socialization. Such a waste for Indonesian’s kindness, isn’t it?

Bottled tea, a “Coca Cola” for Indonesian

Drinking Coca Cola is a habit that Americans have done for years for so many occasions.  The fast food franchises such as McD or KFC or any other franchises offer Coca Cola or Sprite or Fanta as the beverages. This carbonated drink even comes with the diet version of it, as if it’s not a beverage for high-calorie food.

The similar phenomenon happens in Indonesia. Many Indonesian people drink Coca Cola or other carbonated drinks when they are eating at one of the franchises.
However, their Coca Cola is “Teh Botol”. This was started with the production of ‘Teh Botol’ by Sosro Company. ‘Teh Botol’ itself means bottled tea in English. It is a sweetened jasmine tea and it is best served cold.

The background behind its first production was how to pack a tea in a simple container, which would not spill and keep the tea fresh. Tea for Indonesian, especially for Javanese people, is as important as water, thanks to the Chinese influence. As we know, to drink tea, we have to boil the water, mix the tea with sugar, and so on until we get a fresh brewed tea. ‘Teh Botol’ is a new and innovative way to serve tea. It conveniently allows everyone to enjoy tea every time, everywhere, without having to make it first.

Becoming the first tea in a different package, ‘Teh Botol’ becomes Indonesian’s favorite beverages. Even though there are now so many brands of bottled teas, ‘Teh Botol’ is the first choice for Indonesian. From a small street vendor to a luxurious restaurant, ‘Teh Botol’ is always served in every occasion.
It is rare but if the restaurant does not sell ‘Teh Botol’, you can always ask for an iced sweet tea. The taste is not too far from the ‘Teh Botol’.

However, if you come to Indonesia, you won’t see sellers offering you ‘Teh Botol’. They will always offer you Coca Cola or beer once they see that you are a “Bule” (Caucasian). In Bali, for example, the sellers will always offer you Coca Cola. Coca Cola’s price is slightly higher than Teh Botol, so they surely will get more profit. Besides, they think that Western people, especially Americans, will like Coca Cola and beer better than a usual sweetened jasmine tea.
The sellers do not offer you the ‘Teh Botol’ because Coca Cola would not want to supply them again with Coca Cola if they ever get caught selling ‘Teh Botol’ to international tourists.

But if you are curious with how ‘Teh Botol’ would taste, you don’t have to worry. Even though you can’t come to Indonesia, you can always buy it from Indonesian people. Teh Botol is also available in other package which can be shipped easily, like tetra pack package.
Or if you are in Bali, for example, befriend an Indonesian and ask him / her to buy the unique tea taste from Indonesia.

(See this video to see how ‘Teh Botol’ is made)

Now you can see the business opportunity for tea products in Indonesia, right?

(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)

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