With recent Neilson figures confirming that the UK tea market is currently worth £511.0m, up 0.2 per cent in volume terms year on year, tea is a hugely profitable area that caterers cannot afford to miss out on.
The current out of home tea market has a variety of exciting blends to choose from and it is becoming increasingly important to offer a range of fruit, herbal and speciality blends, Peter Haigh, brand development manager at Tetley explains: “The fruit and herbal sector is expanding at 10.7 per cent in volume year on year, with many consumers now focusing on healthy lifestyles. Fruit and herbal blends can help caterers meet this consumer demand for healthier choices. It has become clear that today’s consumers are more aware of the different varieties of tea available to them and expect to see more than just ‘tea’ on a menu. Judging by the success in retail alone, offering customers a range of fruit and herbal blends is an absolute must in the current market.
Take Tetley’s newly launched Redbush Tea, which has enjoyed phenomenal success with MAT growth at 56.5 per cent in volume and is now taking off in the out of home market. Research has shown that consumers are looking for something healthy and different in the afternoon when previously they would have had a coffee. Due to its high antioxidant content and the fact that it is naturally caffeine free, Redbush fills this gap in the market. “We believe that it has the potential to mimic the exceptional growth that we Timehave seen in green tea over the past few years. With so many consumers purchasing fruit, herbal and speciality teas to drink at home, it’s a great way for outlets to make the most of their hot drink menu by boosting tea sales.”
Getting green tea right is also important if you want to take advantage of this massive £17m and growing market. It is important to broaden green tea’s appeal beyond being seen as an occasional, medicinal drink. Green teas are high in antioxidants, have good hydration qualities and, when well blended, a green tea, can be extremely refreshing, so it’s not hard to see why this tea has remained popular. “From my own personal experience, I would suggest offering a flavoured green tea. Our Green Tea with Lemon is the UK’s best selling flavoured green tea and its popularity shows that when you hit on a great formula, people will add to their drinking repertoire.”
Offering a decaffeinated black tea is also essential if you want to keep up with the needs of today’s consumers. Decaf penetration in the UK now exceeds ten per cent of households so customers are bound to become frustrated that they can’t get their decaffeinated tea out of home, clearly it makes sense to serve a decaf blend.
Research has also shown that customers are more likely to choose tea over another beverage if they can see a well known brand being served, and even more likely to purchase if it is the same brand they drink at home. However, it is not enough to simply serve a premium brand, it is crucial that caterers let customers know that they stock a top tea to really drive tea sales.
Another key area for consideration is the ethical sourcing of the tea on your menu. Consumers today are increasingly aware and concerned about the ethical issues surrounding the products they purchase. And with so much media attention placed on the ethical sourcing of food and beverages, it has never been so important for caterers to communicate their ethical credentials to customers. Tetley is a long-standing member of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), a co-operation that ensures that people living and working on tea estates across the world receive the right working and living conditions. It is vital for operators stocking an ethical brand to communicate this to customers visually through point of sale material, customers want to be reassured that they are drinking an ethically sourced beverage.
For further information visit: www.tetley.co.uk