What Google Searches Tell Us About Tea Trends

Google uses search engine queries to research trends. In 2017 several top beverage queries by country (US-UK-Spain and Mexico) involve tea, according to the Think With Google Beverage Trends Report 2017.

Across the four markets, process-based drinks such as “cold brew,” “infusions” and “raw” are prominent among the top Google trending beverage searches, according to the report.

Cold Brew

Searches for “cold brew tea” ranked fourth in the U.S. and three in the U.K. Cold brew coffee ranked No. 1 in both countries. According to the report, “Cold brew reached a turning point of 158 percent year-over-year growth in the summer of 2017 in the U.S. Consumers are seeking this beverage out during the warmer months of the year, making cold brew a sustained, very seasonal trend.”

Infusion

The term “infusion” has different meanings in different markets, depending on temperature. In Spain and Mexico, infusions are hot. In the U.S. and U.K., infusions are cold while hot water infusions are called “tea,” according to Think With Google.

Although growth in demand is strongest in the U.K. and U.S., tea and infusions are trending across all four markets.

Market Trends

Drivers of influence vary by market.

In the U.S. “bubble, boba, ginger, oolong and Thai” were top. In the UK “bubble” also topped the list of searches followed by “matcha.” In Spain “matcha” topped the list and ginger followed. In Mexico searches for “ginger” topped the list and there were relatively few searches for bubble or matcha.

Experience

In Spain and Mexico searches for “hot infusions” peak at night. “Both markets strongly associate fusions with health benefits—and time of day could play a role in activating the beverage’s benefits,” according to the report.

Search results suggest consumer behavior: “As evidenced mainly in the U.S. and U.K., the tea process is strongly associated with experiences.” The report suggests tea suppliers should “connect with consumers when they want to connect with others; turn your beverage into an experience, in or out-of-home.”