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HW RTD Tea: An Attractive Market Yet to Be Fully Explored by Multinationals

April 2015

As consumers are switching from, or reducing their consumption of carbonates, their interest in RTD tea, especially HW versions, is on the rise. HW RTD tea is an emerging playground for enthusiastic entrepreneurs, with many new drinks claimed to have a low calorie content and no added sugar. Chinese and Japanese companies dominate the global market, with TCCC being the only global player holding a prominent position.

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Natural and organic ready to drink (RTD) Tea on the rise

Consumers increasingly demand a variety of drinks; their interest in, and knowledge about, natural ingredients is growing, representing both an opportunity and a challenge for manufacturers.

RTD tea popular with younger consumers

As older consumers tend to stick to their drinking habits, RTD tea consumption is growing amongst younger consumers. Correspondingly, marketing messages tend to be associated with lifestyle and fun.

China the RTD tea growth driver

China is a key growth driver for naturally healthy (NH) RTD tea. The multinationals have not yet captured local consumers’ imagination and the country is therefore dominated by local players.

Chinese and Japanese companies exploring foreign markets

Established Asian brands are exploring international markets. However, challenges remain especially in terms of branding and marketing.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo underperform in RTD Tea

Both cola giants underperformed Chinese companies in health and wellness (HW) RTD tea, although The Coca-Cola Company is making a great deal of effort in the US to market its Gold Peak. PepsiCo and Unilever’s joint venture has achieved progress in terms of market share globally. It has trialled stevia in Lipton in some markets.

RTD green tea and “brain” drinks to watch

Emerging drinks, such as products with the claim to enhance brain function, are being explored by entrepreneurs. These drinks are hybrids of functional drinks and RTD tea, and the success rate remains to be seen.


Key findings

Market Overview

Global historical growth trend of tea-based beverages
HW RTD tea: Asia leads while Brazil sees rapid growth
Why enter health and wellness RTD tea?
NH RTD tea: “Other” t ea outpaces green
Rising obesity a major concern
Mapping the next strongest growth markets

Major Companies/Brands

World RTD and HW RTD tea: T op 10 companies 2014
Unilever could up its game in HW RTD tea
TCCC progressing rapidly in Mexico with Fuze Tea
Ferolito , Vultaggio & Sons Inc : A multinational in the making?
Global HW RTD tea top 10 brands 2014
Lipton vs Nestea
Power of locality offers opportunity for greater M&A activity
RTD tea emerging as an important playground for start-ups
Chinese and Japanese: Exploring new playfield overseas
Japanese and Chinese companies’ international ambitions
Japanese companies penetrate China via local collaboration
Southeast Asia a growth opportunity for all
Acquisition may be only route for global players in Southeast Asia
Asian companies/brands go global: Plausibility and challenges

Geographic and Category Opportunities

Health and wellness trends range from labels to personalisation
Moving from one-fits-all to personalised products
Product personalisation
HW soft drinks prime positioning: General wellbeing largest sales
Case Study: Brain health drinks: Can HW RTD tea be one of them?
Population aged over 65 to grow by 466 million over 2014-2030
Brain-enhancing green tea drinks should be considered
Stimulate the brain temporarily or look after it for the long term?
Brainwave and Nawgan: Early explorers in the brain drinks concept
Emotional connection with marketing message
High-tech beverages for specific needs: Fat burning tea
NH RTD tea potential and FOSHU drinks in Japan
NH RTD green tea to show great potential for growth
Chinese companies spearheading in NH RTD green tea

Possible Future Movements

Global prospects of HW RTD tea by category
Possible way forward: Natural and organic are the attractive claims


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