Sales of RTD tea experienced growth in 2021 overall, partly due to the impact of COVID-19. RTD tea is the most preferred hydration option for consumers who do not like the blandness of bottled water.
The increase in sales of barley tea has been notable in South Korea. After the emergence of COVID-19, sales of the previously best-selling types of RTD tea, such as corn silk tea and oriental raisin tea, tended to decrease, and barley tea took over this reduced volume.
Kwang Dong Pharm maintained its lead in RTD tea in off-trade value terms in 2021, thanks to the company’s wide range of RTD tea products, such as its best-selling Kwangdong Corn Leaf Tea. However, the company experienced a decline in its share in 2021, owing to the poor performance of both Kwangdong Corn Leaf Tea and Kwangdong Oriental Raisin Tea, with the latter popular as a hangover remedy.
With consumers putting a priority on hydration and a reduction in sugar consumption, demand for sugarless RTD tea is expected to remain higher than pre-COVID-19 levels. Hydration is a key part of the strategies of players within RTD tea and will be one of the most important health benefits that the category will highlight over the next years.
With the revision of regulations concerning the recognition of functional ingredients, and standards and specifications for health functional foods by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of Korea, there will be more RTD tea products that specifically advertise their functionalities and effects. The South Korean RTD tea category has grown based on so-called “light functionality”, due to the complicated regulations.
Over the forecast period, the number of SKUs is expected to increase further in RTD tea, with more products using various raw materials expected to be launched. The main driver of expansion will be growth of private label lines.
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This category includes all packaged products based on brewed tea or tea extract. May be sweetened or unsweetened, carbonated or still, with a wide variety of different flavourings. May contain juice.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our RTD Tea research and analysis database.
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