The UK is known for its love of a nice cup of tea, but in recent years it seems that the flavours we’re turning to are changing to embrace a more diverse selection of hot beverages.
It may well be as a result of media scare stories about the dangers of too much caffeine, or maybe people are becoming more aware of the beneficial properties of different teas and herbs, but according to the marketing experts, it seems that Britons are losing their taste for a strong cup of tea and taking to herbal brews enthusiastically – sending sales of traditional tea bags into decline.
Figures show that the number of ordinary black tea bags sold has dropped by almost 5 per cent in the past year, but at the same time the demand for green tea has increased by 8 per cent. Sales of some of the luxury fruit and herbal infusion brands are especially booming, in particular among younger tea drinkers who enjoy drinking different types of tea for health and wellbeing reasons.
Although herbal teas, green tea and Redbush are climbing up the tea drinking charts, straightforward tea does still account for the majority of sales – £415 million, compared to about £230 million for other types of tea.
In response to the trend away from black teas, many of the traditional tea brands have jumped onto the bandwagon and started to introduce new ranges that encompass some of the most popular fruit and herbal teas, too. One of Britain’s best-known tea brands has said that it believes consumer health concerns and a change in the average age of tea drinkers are the main culprits for the decline in sales of traditional ‘builders’ tea’.
Kate Tilbury, head of beverages said, “The health issue is the most overriding trend. We need to drink a certain amount every day and there’s a finite amount people will drink, so people switch beverages.”
The evidence shows that today’s tea drinkers area health-savvy group of people, who are looking for a more well-rounded daily cuppa, and they want a drink that’s going to give them health benefits as well as tasting good. Lovers of the traditional cuppa needn’t be concerned about its extinction though; There will always be room for traditional tea, but like everything, the market is evolving to take in more diverse tastes and unusual blends.