In its first annual Tea Report, British tea company Tetley examines the out-of-home tea market, providing insight and opportunities for tea operators in 2017. Most notably, the report highlights a significant uplift in out-of-home tea consumption. It found that more than 4 billion cups of tea were consumed out of home in the U.K. in 2016, a 2% growth over the 12-month period. This in a year when out-of-home coffee consumption dropped from 6.7% to 1.2%, according to the report.
Tetley senior brand manager Marshall Kingston said this presents a key opportunity for operators to assess their hot beverage offering and attract new advocates to the tea category.
“While the coffee sector has changed beyond recognition since the explosion of the café culture some 15 years ago, the once loved ‘tea house’ has all but disappeared from popular culture,” said Marshall. “To engage and resonate with the tea drinker of tomorrow, the industry must continue to evolve and innovate.”
Kingston hopes that the Tetley Tea Report will “act as a key pillar and drive industry growth of the great British brew.”
Retailers worldwide can gain valuable insight from the 180-year-old tea company’s report. Tetley is the biggest-selling tea brand in Canada and the second largest in the U.K. and U.S. The company is owned by Tata Global Beverages Limited, an Indian company headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal. As well as offering information on current market trends and predicting future trends, the report provides insight and purchasing analysis to help support retailers and operators. It explores consumer purchase habits, flavor preferences, and performance across key out-of-home channels such as cafés, pubs, restaurants, and the workplace.
Among its findings:
- Tea is the most consumed drink in the U.K.
- Out-of-home tea consumption growth has doubled, from 1.6% at the beginning of 2016 to 3.6% at the end of the year.
- U.K. consumers are more and more regarding tea as a premium hot beverage, with more blends and varieties now readily available.
- Tea is a part of Britons’ daily routine, with tea drinkers consuming at least 4 cups a day.
- Since 2007 when 96% of British tea sales were for tea bags, there has been a significant increase in Britons’ thirst for green, fruit, and herbal tea blends.
- Younger consumers are less emotionally engaged with tea, which presents significant opportunity for operators to promote tea drinking to a fresh demographic.
- Under 45s are more likely to drink tea while socializing.
- Tea is the second most popular drink in coffee shops, the workplace, department store cafés, and supermarket cafés.
Tapping into the younger demographic and creating a better out-of-home tea drinking experience are two recommendations of the report, which incorporated current research from Kantar Worldpanel, Nielsen, and MCA. “Consumers desire “specialty beverages that offer a little extra wow factor and theatre, and also command a little extra money at the till,” it states.
“The industry has started to respond to these challenges and a number of brands are starting to offer educational tools to train staff in the art of the perfect tea serve. It’s crucial that operators give front of house teams the knowledge and confidence to offer advice on the variety of tea blends they offer, which will in turn create loyal customers,” according to the report.
The report recommends operators dispel the myth that coffee is the best pick-me-up, and that tea can equally provide functionality and energy, particularly between 6 and 9 a.m. (breakfast time). It gives several pieces of advice regarding flavors and ranges of teas that can be promoted in that time period, as well as recommendations for the midday, snack, and weekend periods.
Various suggestions for promoting the health benefits of tea are presented in the report, as are creating “occasions” for tea drinking via food pairings to drive profits and sales.
“To engage and resonate with the tea drinker of tomorrow, the industry must continue to evolve and innovate. As technology advances, and our consumption habits adapt, we predict to see more change for tea in the next decade than we have in the last 350 years,” the report states.
It concludes with predictions for the coming decade, including more education and training for the industry; increased consumer interest in remedy teas and tea-toxing; and a boom in premium tea sales.
Tetley recently launched its free online Tea Masters program, aimed at tea operators within the catering and food service channels.
Read The Tea Report here: http://www.tetleyteaacademy.co.uk/downloads/Tetley_Tea-Report.pdf
Sources: The Caterer, Tetley