The negative growth that was recorded in retail value sales of tea towards the end of the review period was reversed during 2020 as consumers sought products that they perceive can help them to boost their immune systems and minimise the chances of falling seriously ill with the COVID-19 virus. This forms part of the general health and wellness positioning of fruit/herbal tea and in particular specific variants with specific healthy claims and positionings such as detox, immune boosting and added vitamins.
The strong organic trend that has was driving growth in sales across fresh food, packaged food, soft drinks and hot drinks in France throughout the review period was very much in evidence in tea during 2020. Indeed, demand for organic tea was very positively impacted by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic as many consumers sought more natural products generally, with organic, local and sustainable products among the big winners during the year.
During 2019, it became apparent that the number one brand in tea in France, Lipton, was set to be divested by its parent company Unilever Group. Despite the brand’s success at achieving a very strong position in the emerging organic black tea space following the launch of its organic range in 2018, this was not enough to offset the ongoing decline being seen in demand for the brand’s non-organic black tea.
The negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on foodservice sales of tea is expected to remain in evidence until at least the end of the forecast period. While this is set to be largely due to the challenges faced in the country’s hospitality industry as it seeks to recover from the devastation of the COVID-19 situation during 2020, is also linked to the rapidly decreasing consumer interest in black tea.
The strong focus on health and wellness that has emerged among the French population from the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to continue supporting demand for fruit/herbal tea during the forecast period. Indeed, the widespread fear of contagion at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic boosted demand for a wide range of beverages containing added vitamins, especially those which can legitimately claim to be naturally healthy, including green tea and fruit/herbal tea.
One major factor behind the increasing interest in fruit/herbal tea and green tea in recent years has been the specialty tea shop effect that shook up the category of the review period. This relates to the influence of emerging premium tea boutiques operated by tea enthusiasts under brands such as Kusmi Tea and Le Palais des Thés.
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This report originates from Passport, our Tea research and analysis database.
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