Tea beverages on the rise

Tea beverage sales have grown significantly in the last four years. Learn more about current trends and what is important to consumers.

Americans are seeking out prepared beverages in the local store cooler to meet many different needs. Mintel reports that tea drinks are now becoming a major contender in the race among single serve drinks in the local cooler.

Mintel reports that the ready-to-drink tea category has experience stellar growth due to consumers’ interest in health and wellness, as well as the greater availability of such products in stores (Mintel, July 2015, Tea ad RTD Tea, US). Sales grew 20.6 percent from 2010-2014 and are expected to increase another 19.7 percent from 2015-2020, says Mintel.

In addition to leading national companies, local private label and other new brands, are experiencing growth in sales. For new companies with specialty and artisanal brands, this absence of brand loyalty means consumers are willing to try beverages from new companies.

In the Mintel study that asked whether participants or their family drank ready-to-drink, the findings found that 64 percent of adults, 52 percent of teens/children, and 55 percent of those studied drank ready-to-drink tea.

Consumers perceive the convenience of refrigerated read-to-drink tea as an affordable, premium tea option. In the consumer survey Mintel conducted, participants described their ideal tea as a single-serve, lightly sweetened, traditionally flavored or unflavored beverage with added vitamins and natural claims. In addition, consumers perceive tea as multifaceted, making it a very versatile beverage. Whether you’re looking to market a tea drink for relaxation, energy, nutrition and/or hydration, Mintel identified that tea has significant opportunities for continued growth.

The MSU Product Center, in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, provides business counseling for product development, packaging and marketing strategies that will help Michigan entrepreneurs commercialize high-value, consumer–responsive food products. For more information, visit the MSU Product Center website or call 517-432-8750.

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