Coffee and teas accounts for 15 percent of total overall new beverage dollar sales and the pace of new tea introductions is accelerating. Specialty tea has evolved into a constant innovation cycle driven by convenience, “permissible indulgence” (see an earlier post) and wellness. There is a remarkable variety of flavor combinations entering the marketplace.
All of this is important for grocers, as IRI found that 20 percent of consumers are “always” looking for new products to try.
Also backing up this trend is that in the past 18 months, investors have injected $1 billion into retail tea, an unprecedented sum that will lead to construction on several thousand new tea bars coast to coast. Seattle-based Starbucks kick-started tea retail by acquiring Teavana and recently opened its first tea bar, a move that will lead to many new outlets.
This article also includes some great merchandising tips on how to feature, promote and sell tea.