This report considers opportunities for global tea, including hot tea and RTD tea. Combined, tea is the most consumed global beverage in terms of volume. There is growing evidence of value creation in tea, as consumer demand for healthier and natural beverages leads them to opt for versatile tea-based brewed beverages across consumption occasions.
Tea is a volume and value growth opportunity in beverages, thanks to its ubiquity in the largest global beverages markets and its versatility as a product – consumed hot or cold, sweet or unsweetened, and as a healthy or indulgent beverage.
Tea has entered an era of value creation. It has long been considered a low priced commodity (in contrast to coffee and packaged soft drinks), but growth in chilled RTD tea is driving value growth, alongside growth in hot green teas and premium speciality black teas.
RTD tea has emerged as a better-for-you soft drinks option, consumed for its refreshment, hydration and functional (natural energy) benefits. The US has been a major area of growth, thanks to premium priced single serve teas. Healthier RTD teas are a growth opportunity in China. Flavourful brewed RTD teas are also an area of substantial NPD targeting young consumers.
Hot tea is second only to bottled water in terms of global consumption. Value sales potential is finally being realised with functional, healthier and flavourful tea blends. Maintaining loyalty among young people (who represent a sizeable portion of the population in the highest per capita tea markets) is crucial.
Tea is finding ways to develop in non-traditional forms and channels outside the home. Alcoholic drinks and home tea appliances are two opportunities. In addition, chained tea concepts in India, the UAE and other markets are finding success, while tea in US/European foodservice is dependent on entering the menus of mixed operators – from coffee chains to fast food.
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