Americans are enjoying more hot tea in restaurants and at home. Following a growth spurt that featured sweet and flavored iced tea in fast-service restaurants, fresh brewed hot tea is now experiencing greater growth than iced teas and keeping pace with coffee but with much smaller market share.
- Sales of hot beverages grew 7% in the year ending July in both the U.S. and Canada while sales of cold beverages declined 1%. In Canada hot beverages hold 28.5% market share. In the U.S. hot beverages grew to 17.4% of the total beverage market.
- In the U.S. RTD tea grew by 2%, sales of loose leaf and tea bags grew 7% while roast and ground coffee sales grew 8% through July 2013. In Canada sales of loose leaf and tea bags rose 3%, RTD declined 1% and roast and ground coffee sales grew 10%.
- A survey last month found 42% of Americans plan to increase their tea consumption in 2014. A third of Americans increased their tea consumption in 2013, according to the survey which was conducted by Teavana in connection with National Hot Tea Month. Young people lead the rapidly growing interest in tea among Americans. The young are most likely to prefer a green tea over other types of tea, according to a survey of 1,019 men and women, age 18+ during the week of Dec. 16-18.
Several retailers timed their release of new products to the annual National Hot Tea Month event popularized by the Tea Association of the USA.
*Teavana unveils a Special Edition Golden Dragon Yellow Tea, its first yellow tea offering which is available for a limited time, beginning today.
“This unique tea offers captivating high floral notes that mingle with a smooth honeyed body and a subtle creamy, buttery finish,” said Naoko Tsunoda, director of tea development and tea authority, Teavana. “Yellow tea has long been prized in China for its limited harvest season and artisanal crafting process. The name ‘yellow’ tea refers to the unique processing and slow roasting of the tea leaves that produces a lovely, bright golden infusion color, but the rarity of yellow tea has also associated it with the imperial yellow worn exclusively by emperors for centuries.” The tea sells for $29.98 for two ounces.
*Tattle Tea also used the occasion to release a new line of five limited-edition chais.
Tattle says its hand-blended teas encourage tea drinkers to expand their repertoires by trying new tea varieties as well as different steeping methods.
“At Tattle Tea we like to capture the season with our limited edition teas, and with National Hot Tea month falling in January we felt a line of warming chai teas would be the best way to celebrate,” said Anthony Borthwick, resident tea expert at Tattle Tea. “Chai is one of the best teas to help drinkers get through the tough winter months thanks to its blend of spices such as cinnamon, ginger and coriander. With our ‘Chai-Fest’ teas, we wanted to highlight the unique spices and showcase how they pair with a variety of different teas and flavors.”
*The CDC estimates that more than 200,000 people will be affected by colds and flu this season. While a flu shot is highly recommended another natural preventative may befound in your tea cup, according to Beth Johnston, CEO at Teas Etc. in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Johnston reminds us of research reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that found that people who drank three cups of black tea per day produced five times the amount of germ-fighting cells than those who drank coffee, suggesting that tea drinkers have more ability to fight viral infections such as colds and flu than non-tea drinkers.
* In North Dakota, which has experienced a severe cold spell, Steep Me owner Terisina Hinz praises dark teas “because they’re loaded with probiotics. Probiotics resume your metabolism. It gets you ready to go in the morning. It’s not as caffeinated, but it makes you feel good; it keeps your body healthy,” says Hintz.
“As North Dakotans, we drink tea to stay warm, but once cold and flu season rolls around, it’s a good idea to drink it for the health benefits,” says Hintz.
“January’s National Hot Tea Month can serve as a reminder to do something healthy for ourselves, like brew a hot cup of tea, which may provide a variety of health benefits, serve as a weight loss aid and help to ward off persistent cold and flu germs” according to the Tea Council of the USA. “What more could you ask for in a beverage?”