National Iced Tea Day is June 10 and chances are Americans will celebrate with unconventional flavors, boba tea, cold brew, herbal tisanes or sparkling tea in their cups. These cool-brew trends are making their mark this year as we embark on National Iced Tea Month, an annual June event.
Customers Favor Flavors
New flavor combinations continue to emerge. Flavors commonly associated with iced tea are lemon, peach and raspberry. Now, there are flavors to complement every palate and both restaurants and bottled tea companies are appealing to a broader range of taste preferences.
Iced tea gives restaurants the opportunity to make creative and refreshing non-alcoholic blends for customers during the hot summer months and variety drives sales. Iced tea is a key beverage on American restaurant menus as 84 percent offer it, according to Restaurant Business. S&D Coffee & Tea’s research findings revealed customers are more likely to order iced tea if the menu features a range of flavors and types of tea.
At Bojangles’, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based restaurant, the constant demand for iced tea led to the addition of new fruit flavors to the menu, like kiwi, orange, mango and passion fruit, reported QSR Magazine.
Boba Still Bubbling
Asia’s boba tea sensation has made its way across the United States. Fast casual outlets selling bubble tea like Boba Guys in New York’s Greenwich Village have experienced a long lines of customers waiting to order the jasmine milk and horchata teas, rounded off with tapioca balls, almond jelly or grass jelly, reported the New York Times.
Cold Brew Remains Hot
In the American ready-to-drink market, cold brewed, single estate and functional bottled teas are trending. Argo Tea is launching a collection of cold brew, single estate ready-to-drink teas. Tiesta Tea launched a line of cold brew teas at Target stores earlier this year. The teas come in unique flavor blends such as Maui Mango with a splash of passion fruit and Black Thai Tropical tea with a splash of guava. Cham cold brew tea created functional blends called Revitalize, Calm and Defense.
Tisanes Tip Forward
Additionally, herbal tisanes are becoming more visible in the American RTD market. BOS, South Africa’s canned rooibos tea collection, will soon be available nationwide in the United States. Ellis Island Tea, a blend of hibiscus, rosehips and mint, recently expanded its distribution to every Sam’s Club across the U.S.
Sparkling Teas Pop
Sparkling teas are adding zest to the grocery shelf and texture to the tongue. Zest Tea introduced its first line of three RTD sparkling teas in December. In March, SoMATCHAAH!, a carbonated ready-to-drink matcha tea made its debut. Rounding out the carbonated tea offerings is Tempo, a new line of unsweetened sparkling teas that provide natural energy with no calories.