British Consumers Turning To Premium Teas In Large Numbers, Study Finds

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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British Consumers Turning To Premium Teas In Large Numbers, Study Finds

Tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the UK, and according to a study by category management firm Bridgethorne, consumers are increasingly seeking out premium tea varieties and infusions for their daily cuppa.

The study found that UK consumers drank 870 million fewer cups of tea and bought 2.6 million kilograms less tea last year, however this was compensated for by a growth in sales of premium and herbal teas, as well as fruit infusions.

While black tea remains the go-to variant in the category, accounting for 85% of sales, the adoption of new and alternative teas means that the value of tea sales rose 0.6% to £669.2 million (€761.4 million) last year, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Category Opportunities

According to Bridgethorne, this migration away from traditional teas presents an opportunity for significant category growth.

“This merely reflects what we see around us with brands bringing fruit, green, herbal and decaffeinated teas into their ranges, which are proving attractive to younger drinkers who perceive them as having health and wellbeing benefits,” says John Nevens, Bridgethorne's joint managing director.


“There is no evidence to suggest that this growth in the speciality tea market is going to slow down. Far from it; in fact, with new loose leaf teas and new blends, the category offers strong prospects for growth for suppliers who do what it needed to understand the category.”

Joined-Up Thinking

While the category is likely to enjoy a boost in the coming years. Nevens added that suppliers need to have an effective category strategy in place in order to ensure both their, and their clients', needs are met from the category.

“Suppliers must regard it as their responsibility to help grow categories, increase margins and help the retailer deliver on its KPIs. But it seems that while retailers are crying out for the data, analyses and reports that help them build the category as a whole, many suppliers continue to fail to carry out even these routine category management tasks.”

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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