Driven by the health trend, favouring soft drinks with a low sugar content, and strong innovation activity by manufacturers, RTD tea was already a dynamic category in 2017, both in the off-trade and on-trade. In 2018 however, due to the introduction of Fuze Tea by Coca-Cola Belgium, the category registered even stronger growth.
The positive effect of the introduction of Fuze Tea are likely to be felt only in the short term. Over the forecast period, consumers will probably shift towards healthier, organic versions of RTD tea, and manufacturers such as D-Drinks BVBA, which focuses on health and wellness, are set to benefit the most from these trends.
In 2017 and 2018, following the introduction of the sugar tax, and in the midst of the development of a significant consumer shift towards healthier and sugar free drinks, soft drinks categories such as carbonates began to suffer. Along with bottled water and energy drinks, RTD tea was one of the main beneficiaries of this trend.
The launch of Fuze tea at the beginning of 2018 had a sudden and strong impact on the category. Coca-Cola heavily supported the launch of the product, with an advertising campaign, an extensive distribution network, and a strong in-store promotional drive.
Following the entry of Coca-Cola Belgium, the RTD tea competitive landscape changed substantially. Unilever Belgium remained the leader, although it lost significant share.
The launch of Fuze Tea by Coca-Cola Belgium, available in four variants (Black Tea Peach Ibiscus, Green Tea Mango Chamomille, Black Tea Sparkling and Black Tea Lemon) and five different formats (glass bottle, 200ml; aluminium can, 250ml and 330ml; PET bottle, 400ml and 1.25l) was not the only relevant launch of the year.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Soft Drinks market research database.