Kraft Heinz Jan2020

Tea Time

The hospitality sector has made tremendous strides in recent times to cater for a seemingly insatiable consumer appetite for top quality coffee. With an estimated 70m cups a day being drunk in the UK, it’s a brave business that doesn’t have a range of brews available!

And the signs are that tea is following. London start-up ‘Brew’ is planning to open the UK’s first tea pub, clear evidence that interest in tea is blossoming. Take Stock brings you the golden rule for tea success…

Make it special

Use a separate menu for your teas and select teaware that enhances your tea service. Glass teapots and cups work brilliantly when serving loose leaf, letting customers see the vivid colours of the teas as they infuse.

Offer a range

Walk down any large supermarket’s tea and coffee aisle and you’ll see literally dozens of offerings. According to John Sutcliffe of Taylors of Harrogate, black tea holds the greatest market share (70%), but speciality teas are seeing a 5% year-on year growth. Customers will not be impressed by a range smaller than what they might have in their own kitchen cupboards, so make sure you stock up!

What to stock?

“A tea menu has to include a staple black tea, such as our Yorkshire Tea brand or classic English Breakfast,” says Natalie Cross, OOH manager for Taylors of Harrogate. “Because customers are becoming much more adventurous, have a caffeine-free fruit or herbal infusion, thereby offering both a low calorie hot drink option and a different taste profile.” Green tea, as well as fruit and herbals are considered to be healthy options, appealing to the 95% of consumers who have, or would like to have a healthier lifestyle, according to research by Allegra. This is backed up by Mintel research which showed that between 2012 and 2014 sales of fruit and herbal teabags rose by 31% and green teabags by 50%.

“Our advice is to cover all the bases – black teas, anti-oxidant rich green teas, flavour rich decafs, organic herbal and naturally sweet fruit infusions,” adds Natalie.


There are dozens of different teas, so offer a weekly/ monthly special and advertise this via social media, your website and staff. Create a tea and food-pairing menu – floral and fruity oolong teas go brilliantly with sweet foods for instance.

Focus on quality

According to the 2014 Allegra report, 62% of consumers consider a premium brand to be the most important factor when ordering tea OOH.

Take the same time and care selecting the teas you offer, as you do with wines, spirits and coffees. The brands you choose create an immediate impression of the kind of establishment you are – and the kind of service your  client might expect. Don’t forget, often the last experience a client has of your establishment is their coffee or tea  – so make it a memorable one.

Train your staff

Make sure customer-facing staff have the knowledge to present, sell, make and serve the teas you have on offer. So for instance, research by Twinings shows that if using a teabag to make green tea, anything over two to three minutes of brewing results in a bitter taste. Make sure  your staff know!

Big up the health benefits

January is a peak time for people to look at healthy options – so promote the fact that your range of teas enables customers to enjoy themselves on your premises, without blowing their diet. Twinings’ range of caffeinefree fruit and herbal teas for instance have just four calories per cup and for those customers giving up dairy, get round the resistance to black tea by offering something like green tea and cranberry – a refreshing alternative to the standard brew.

Between 2012 and 2014 sales of fruit and herbal teabags rose by 31%

Speciality teas are seeing a 5% year-on-year growth

62% of consumers consider a premium brand to be the most important factor when ordering tea

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