A Change is Brewing
A nice cup of tea will always be a well-loved, traditional drink. But thanks to new flavours, exciting food pairings and fewer adults drinking alcohol, tea is now seen as the cool kid of beverages.
The UK out of home tea market remains buoyant, with value growth at 13.6% vs 2015*. On average, an estimated 31.4m cups of tea are consumed out of home every weekday and growth is expected to continue with one in five consumers stating they drink more tea now than they did a year ago*.
“While the number of out of home coffee occasions – 3.8bn – is higher than out of home tea occasions (3.1bn), coffee purchase occasions continue to decline out of home, dropping by 10% compared to 2016*,” said Marshall Kingston, Tetley senior brand manager – out of home. “This presents a key opportunity for operators to assess their current hot beverage menu and review the tea products they are offering.”
Whole leaf, herbal, fruit, green and black speciality teas are experiencing a surge in popularity with younger consumers who are attracted to their specific health and dietary properties. Concerns over provenance and traceability means premium quality teas and tisanes that offer an original product sourced from ethical growers are much in demand, with consumers willing to pay more for these products.
A ‘tea-total’ experience
With 21% of adults now teetotal and the proportion of adults who say they drink alcohol at the lowest level on record according to data from the Office for National Statistics, consumers are looking for interesting alternatives to alcohol to accompany their meals.
How to serve
Some outlets are treating teas like a fine wine; brewing the whole leaf teas at ambient temperatures for as long as an hour to release the intricate flavours, before serving from a decanter into wine glasses. Michelin-starred Fera at Claridge’s has launched an ambient brew tea pairing menu. In its first three months tea sales increased by 400%. Stating that “The idea is that tea and wine share the same complexities, and by serving the tea at ambient temperatures, you can appreciate it much more.”
Health remains a key factor and consumers – in particular millennials – are becoming an increasingly health conscious generation. Tea is often chosen for its health and thirst quenching benefits and a refreshing cuppa can effectively help hydrate the body and also plays an essential role in improving health and well-being. By promoting the health benefits that tea can offer to the under 45s, operators can tap into the current market trend and continue to drive sales, whilst attracting new advocates to the category.
Flavours to stock
Black tea is still the number one tea drunk at home, with an 81.9% of category value share, with Earl Grey and English Breakfast blends experiencing growth. The non-black tea sector – representing 18.1% value share of the tea market – has seen significant growth in the past year. Peppermint tea has seen value growth of 11.8% compared to 2016 and herbal, green and fruit teas are growing at 9.6%, 3.9% and 0.7% respectively. Tetley’s envelope range includes refreshing and soothing blends such as Mint Fusion and Camomile, through to intensely fruity flavours like Raspberry and Pomegranate and Green Tea with Mango.
Best for breakfast
With an estimated £76m spent daily on breakfast and brunch out of home* and 18% of all breakfast occasions out of home involving tea*, this is a key time to make sure you have your tea offering in place. To help foodservice sectors get on board with their breakfast menu, Tetley has launched a Breakfast Guide which offers quick and easy breakfast dishes and indulgent brunch options with serious profit opportunities that pair perfectly with a cuppa. Marshall Kingston, senior brand manager – out of home, Tetley comments; “Insight shows that consumers are more likely to drink tea with breakfast than any other hot beverage*. Catering to consumer needs in the morning period is essential to operators looking to capitalise on the growing breakfast markets. Breakfast is an important day part when it comes to hot beverages – if not the most important and Tetley’s Breakfast Guide offers menu ideas that all pair perfectly with Tetley blends.” tetleyteaacademy.co.uk/tetley-sbooming-breakfast-guide
Be a tea master
Want to make sure that you and your staff have the knowledge and confidence to offer advice on a variety of tea blends? The Tea Masters is a free, industry leading online training platform, specially designed for the catering industry. Developed by Tetley, it addresses barriers in tea purchasing such as poor knowledge and quality of serve and helps operators to improve standards.
Visit tetleyteamasters.co.uk for more information.
Sources: Kantar Worldpanel Usage | OOH Paper Diary | 12 m/e May 2017 | Occasions (millions) | Total Hot Drinks | Total Obtained OOH excl. Friend/Relative Home, CGA Volume Pool 2017, CGA Tata Tea Research Project – Bespoke Consumer Survey 2017, The Independent, Beacon 2015 survey, M&C Allegra Food Top Go Report 2015, Garrahan 2015 /MCA Allegra OOH Tea Data June 2016, MCA Insight – Tea Consumption In the UK Eating Out of Home Market, for Tetley, May 2016, Mintel