Tea hits five favorite beverage trends in North America

According to Technomic (a trustworthy survey consultant in the Food Industry) tea has ranked fourth of the five beverage trends in North America in 2015.   In 2017, tea is still on the rise worldwide.  In its first annual Tea Report, British tea company Tetley examines the out-of-home tea market.  Most notably, the report highlights a significant uplift in out-of-home tea consumption with a 2% growth over the 12-month period, when out-of-home coffee consumption dropped from 6.7% to 1.2%, according to the report.  

According to Packaged Facts (another leading source of market research on the consumer goods and services industries) the U.S. packaged tea market is a freight train that remains on the rails, climbing 5% in 2016.  Consumers are also turning to premium specialty tea brands, which are growing at a faster rate than mass market brands, according to the report.  It also shows a declines in commodity tea which do not signal the market is cooling. It is apparent that consumers are simply buying less tea in grocery stores and more tea online and at specialty retail outlets. 

An Agriculture Canada food-trends study is projecting that tea consumption will grow by 40 per cent by 2020. That trend is also confirmed by U.S. Tea Association seeing a dramatic rise in tea imports since 2010. 

Another very interesting 2017 Food and Drink Trends report by Mintel Group Ltd., describes consumer preferences for products that are “recognizable rather than revolutionary.”   The report shows consumers seeking comfort from modernized updates of age-old formulations, flavors, and formats. The tendency is to natural, simple, and flexible diets such as vegetarian, vegan, and other plant-focused formulations.  There are many interest in functional food and drink formulations. The increasingly hectic pace of modern life leads people to food and drink that helps them calm down before bedtime, sleep better, and restore the body while they rest.

Tea aligns perfectly with consumers' expectations.  It is associated with great history and ceremony. Its origins date back to Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, 2737 B.C., where it is reported that a leaf from a nearby tree blew into a pot of water he was boiling.  Tea is associated with comfort, slowing down the pace, and with tradition and ritual.  It is becoming a staple of the health-conscious as well with its antioxidants providing a healthy boost to the cardiovascular system and cancer prevention.   It is an ideal complement to today’s well-being movement.  Tea generally has a long and rich healing history in most cultures.  Tisanes (herbal blends) address a wide range of health concerns such as sleep problems, weight loss, and stress relief, to name only a few.

Branding consultant Bruce Philp stated that everyone can find a way to engage and introduce tea into their lives. “Tea is intimately social, it’s contemplative and the experience you have is enlightening. That’s rarefied air — I don’t think there are many other beverages that can compete.”

I strongly agree with him, and apparently I am not alone; just think about celebrities like Opra, Angelina Jolie and Simon Baker who endorse tea as their favorite hot beverage.   And what about you?  Are you in the 2017 tea trends?

Posted on February 1, 2017 and filed under About tea.