Fruit/herbal tea achieved a dynamic performance in 2018, largely due to the steady pace of product innovation and the openness of Norwegian consumers to try novelties. Indeed, one of the key drivers in tea over the review period was the launch of new products and the emergence of new, strong brands.
With the fashionable appeal of fruit/herbal tea, the consumer group of tea in Norway is becoming younger, according to industry sources. The combination of consumers open to novelties and market dynamics favouring frequent innovation, sets the prerequisites for a steady pace of product launches in tea over the forecast period.
Retail volume sales of tea registered weak growth in 2018, underpinned by a stagnant performance of black tea and minor decline for green tea. One of the reasons for the decline was an increase in cross-border trade following a tax hike on confectionery and soft drinks, which had a spillover effect on other food products, including tea.
The Norwegian distributor of the Twinings brand, Haugen-Gruppen, continued to lead tea in 2018. The company has particularly strong positions in black and green tea, and enjoys excellent distribution in all major grocery retailers.
The two most established players in tea, Haugen-Gruppen and Unilever Norge, face strong competition both from premium brands on the one hand and, to a lesser extent, from private label on the other. As distributors of the Twinings and Lipton brands, respectively, they have been fairly slow in moving into organic tea and premium fruit/herbal tea, where most of the growth over the review period was witnessed, and consequently lost some share.
Assuredly, the companies are finally acting on this trend, with Lipton launching a series of organic teas in 2017 and Twinings launching the Infuso series alongside a substantial marketing campaign in 2018. Twinings and Lipton already enjoy high brand awareness and loyalty among many tea drinkers in Norway due to their long-standing presence and extensive distribution, although the question remains whether they can effectively turn around and become more relevant for the new wave of tea drinkers, who are set to avidly fuel the fruit/herbal tea trend over the forecast period.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Hot Drinks market research database.