Comeback of the cuppa: New generation of tea drinkers trigger sales surge

Comeback of the cuppa: New generation of tea drinkers trigger sales surge

Sales of tea from grocery stores and supermarkets – as opposed to cafes – rose 3.5 per cent to more than £640million in the past year. 

Meanwhile, spending on coffee, malt drinks and hot chocolate fell. 

The figures show that a taste for a better quality cuppa is fuelling this sales surge. 

According to trade journal The Grocer, the amount spent is up but the volume sold is down 1.1 per cent – indicating a move to more expensive upmarket teas.

Lucia Juliano, of pollster Harris Interactive which carried out the survey for The Grocer, said younger adults these days wanted more than just the “milk-and-two-sugars” variety. 

She said: “It seems that the average brew is no longer enough for consumers, particularly among the younger generation. 

“There’s been an eight per cent increase in the past two years in the number of people who are willing to pay more for quality tea, now standing at 31 per cent. 

“This is particularly prominent among 25 to 34-year-olds, where that figure rises to 44 per cent. Perhaps because flavoured and speciality teas are perceived as more of an indulgence, consumers are more willing to spend that bit more on their cup of tea.” 

The figures, for the 12-month period to the end of May, may only be a small step. 

But to tea enthusiasts across the country they are seen as signs of a comeback for the beleaguered brew, after the nation embraced takeaway coffee in the high street and hi-tech coffee-making machines at home. 

The figures were compiled by analysts who surveyed 2,100 adults about their tea drinking habits. 

They found that 41 per cent still like a cup of “builder’s” rather than herbal or green alternatives. 

But they also found the amount of shelf space given to this black tea – the kind Britain has drunk for over a century – is gradually making way for green, herbal and fruit flavours, as well as healthy “infusions”.

Tetley marketing director Peter Dries explained: “Tea has witnessed some large developments in the last year. 

“The arrival of teas with extra benefits is striking a chord with shoppers looking for something healthy and different. This is leading to a high level of repeat sales as well as bringing in new consumers to tea.”

Published at Thu, 28 Sep 2017 23:01:00 +0000

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