Steepen In Tea Sales
Tea is trending. According to Nielsen, tea sales reached $70 billion, an 11.3% year-over-year increase, for the 52 weeks ending April 17, 2021. Packaged tea, Ready-To-Drink (RTD) tea, and tea collaborations are the latest tea trends. According to AF&Co, a trend for 2022 is the revival of high tea. Similarly, Pinterest Predicts’ 2022 Report identified the “Cuppa time” trend and described it by stating “afternoon tea is the new happy hour.”
Trending search terms on Pinterest:
- High tea food ideas +4x
- Vintage tea party +70%
- Tea party aesthetic +2x
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The packaged tea segment experienced 7.9% growth and was worth $1.5 billion for the 52 weeks ending April 17, 2021, according to Nielsen. Within the segment, black teas were No. 1 with $639 million in dollar sales (up 2.8%), herbal teas reached $593 million (up 15.3%), green teas grossed $240 million (up 7.2%), and red teas amounted $31 million (up 16%).
Bigelow Tea has added Blackberry Citrus Herbal Tea plus Zinc to its line of immune support tea. Celestial Seasonings released non-GMO Cold Brew Iced Tea in five varieties: Citrus Sunrise, Half and Half, Red, White & Blueberry, Sweetened Black Tea with Lemon, and Unsweetened Black Tea. Former DavidsTea founder David Segal debuted Firebelly Tea, a direct-to-consumer brand. Firebelly is self-described as “a 21st century tea brand that is curated to modern living” and sells 20 teas and seven tea-making accessories. The tea flavors have contemporary names such as A Breath of Fresh Air, A Good Root, After Dinner Mint, Forest Fresh, Makes Good Sencha, and Zest for Life. Bonne Maman, known for Premium Preserves, extended its range and launched Bonne Maman Herbal Teas. The tea is hand-picked, Non-GMO and USDA Certified Organic and housed in sustainable and compostable packaging. The teas are available in five blends: Contentment, Dream, Serenity, Sweet Delight, and Vitality. InstaBrew dropped on-demand coffee and tea cubes. The cubes are slightly sweetened with natural, unprocessed raw sugar cane. Currently, Citrus Blend Tea is available with Mixed Berry Tea and Peach Tea flavors coming soon.
RTD Tea Trends
According to Nielsen, RTD tea saw sales of $142 million and iced tea was a top seller with $42 million, for the 52 weeks ending April 17, 2021. POM Wonderful added two new flavors to its POM Antioxidant Super Tea line: Pomegranate Elderberry Boost Tea and Pomegranate Orange Blossom White Tea. Enroot launched a line of small-batch, slowly cold-brewed, organic sparkling teas. The RTD line features five blends: Reenergize (Mango, Turmeric, Ginger, Guyausa), Relax (Strawberry, Lavender, Rosemary, Tulsi), Rejuvenate (Peach, Hibiscus, Jasmine, Green Tea), Revive (Apple, Lemon, Cayenne, Yerba Mate), and Revitalize (Raspberry, Mint, White Peony Tea). Humanitea Co launched a RTD premium organic tea line in five varieties: Coconut Lemonade, Mango + Melon Black Tea, Passion Fruit + Kiwi Green Tea, Unsweetened Black Tea, and Wildberry + Lime Hibiscus Tea. The tea leaves are sourced from India and the beverages are packaged in Tetra Pak paper cartons.
Like other food and beverage categories, tea brands are partnering on unique collaborations. Vintner’s Daughter and the Tea Huntress have joined forces on the limited-edition Oolong Radiance, a bespoke blend inspired by the ingredients used in April Gargiulo’s skin care. The tea features nette, alfalfa, and spearmint. As part of Nest’s Wellness Collection, Nest partnered with Bellocq, the London-based tea brand on the NEST x Bellocq Tea Wild Mint & Eucalyptus Tea and Candle Set. The collection includes candles, a reed diffuser, Pura Smart Home diffuser, liquid soap, bar soap, and sanitizing gel. The line was designed to “create a wellness sanctuary in your home with this aromatic ritual designed to clear your mind and awaken your senses.” Tea Drops collaborated with Sanrio on a Hello Kitty tea collection. Inspired by Hello Kitty, Tea Drops created three new flavors: Apple Pie A La Mode (to commemorate Hello Kitty’s favorite dessert), English Breakfast (to honor traditional tea time and the character’s birthplace of London), and Strawberry Matcha Green Tea (to celebrate Hello Kitty’s Japanese roots). The tea is pressed in the shape of Hello Kitty’s face and is sold in individual packs or a bundle. Consumers have the choice of the Bubble Tea set, which includes the English Breakfast tea, tapioca pearls and a metal reusable straw or the Obsessed set bundle with all three teas and four enamel Hello Kitty pins. In honor of the 20th anniversary of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore magazine, Bazaar partnered with TWG Tea to create a limited-edition signature tea blend called Teh BAZAAR and five specialty teas. The signature tea blend contains Darjeeling leaves, tart red fruits, anise, and caramel. The five specialty teas are Chic Christmas Hamper, Christmas In Style Hamper, Glamour Christmas Hamper, Red Christmas Hamper, and Winter Couture Hamper.
Tea trends continue to steep with activity in a variety of applications. Expect to see more unique packaged tea and RTD tea flavors as well as creative tea collaborations.