Fall Flavors Spice Up Sales

Pumpkin spice flavored tea. Photo credit: GettyImages.com

Fall is right around the corner and with it comes tea flavors containing spice and sweetness that warm the body from the inside.

Though variety of seasonal tea blends trails flavored coffee in retail, companies have brought back some fall flavor favorites in their tea offerings.

Claire Conaghan, Syndicated Group Manager at Datassential said, “According to Datassential INSIDER, tea seasonality is limited and far under leveraging flavors that are seen in coffee. Flavors of tea most seasonal to fall are chocolate, pumpkin, and chai. As are references to cinnamon and ginger (often included as descriptors for chai).”

Among these, chocolate prevails as the most popular Fall tea flavor—being more than five times as popular during this season than others—with pumpkin a close second. Chai and spiced teas are three times more popular during the fall months than other seasons, reports Datassential INSIDER.

Coffee giant Starbucks offers a variety of teas on its menu and embraces fall as an opportunity to re-introduce its seasonal tea flavors. Starbucks recently brought back its Teavana Pumpkin Spice Tea Latte, which is a lightly sweet chai with pumpkin spice added, evoking the comfort people crave as the weather cools.

Whereas, in the coffee market, Fall offerings tend to be early introductions to the holiday season and include flavors such as gingerbread, eggnog and peppermint. Coffee is also flavored with spices such as clove and nutmeg, as well as nut flavors such as chestnut—which are rare in teas. Conaghan added, dessert flavors can provide inspiration to tea companies.

In the grocery channel, Starbucks offers Teavana Imperial Spiced Chai, one of six flavors of Teavana teas. In perfect timing with the fall harvest, Pure Leaf recently debuted a limited-edition Apple Cider Flavored Iced tea, which is available in stores until the end of the year. The bottled tea combines the tart taste of apple cider with brewed black tea.

Another variable influencing trends is the modern customer’s health-centric buying choices. Jessica Hochman, natural insights and innovation research manager at SPINS Natural and Specialty Gourmet Channels, pointed out how today’s health and wellness-focused consumers are looking for festive options that are lower in sugar. “For foodservice and at-home preparations for holiday entertaining, I think unsweetened or lightly sweetened tea lends itself very well as a flavorful base for cocktails and punches,” Hochman said. One example is Owl’s Brew’s mulling spice cocktail mixer that calls for tea as a base.