Tea companies are making a play for the coffee obsessed with the introduction of “high caffeine” teas and energy drinks.
Republic of Tea has been bold in their advertising and approach, with the introduction of a line of HiCAF(TM) Teas in January 2014. Their product development team has added green tea extract, providing additional caffeine to these premium tea bags. “They can give you a healthy jump on the day or help crush the afternoon slump,” claims their website. The HiCAF (TM) tea bags come in flavors including coconut or caramel black, pom-berry black and gingermint green. The HiCAF tea joins their “Be Active (R),” “Be Well” (R), and Biodynamic (R) functional tea lines.
Tea Forte took a more subtle approach, but clearly targeting the same market with their Noir Collection. Their marketing copy extols, “Presenting the dark, deep steep of NOIR, haunting and robust black teas blended to delight even the coffee purist.” Their line of pyramid infusers include black cherry, blood orange, and caramel nougat. “While coffee still remains the bigger brother, tea sales have grown 32 percent since 2007, and are expected to grow into an 18 billion dollar a year industry over the next two years,” said Stuart Avery Gold, Tea Forte’s Chief Brand Officer in a press release. “With trends indicating coffee is not everyone’s cup of tea, we are excited to create a connection, extending an invitation to both coffee connoisseurs and tea aficionados.
Other tea companies have focused their attention on the ready-to-drink segment. Celestial Seasoning introduced Natural Shots, ENERJI (TM) Green Tea Energy Shots and Kombucha Energy Shots. The three flavors of ENERJI (TM) utilize green tea extracts to boost the caffeine content to 100-150 mg per two-ounce bottle. Both the green tea and kombucha shots include B-vitamins and ginseng. Steaz offers an Energy line, relying on the energy boost provided by green tea extract, yerba mate, guarana and açai. They currently offer four versions: berry (regular and zero calorie), orange, and “energy superfruit.” Steaz has organic and fair trade certification. Inko’s also sells White Tea Energy, “an adult energy drink.” It contains white tea, lemon and ginger with tea extract, guarana and ginseng for a powerful burst.
With sales increases of 5000% since 1999 in the energy drink market, and a current global market of $27.5 billion (Source: Euromonitor), we are likely to continue to see entrants into this market across the tea industry.