But Mintel also warns that this demographic are less likely than average to drink all types of tea bar instant – indicating that convenience is a key consumption driver for a core soft drink target group.
Encouragingly, the research firm also reveals that 25-34s are core users for all types of tea, hot chocolate and malted drinks, with the forecast 9.4% rise in this group over 2012-17 boding well for future growth.
Details from a June 2013 Mintel report ‘Tea and Other Hot Drinks’ highlights health as an important factor within the herbal teas market and a key point of difference.
Taste excitement remains an issue
But taste remains an issue, Mintel warned, with a fifth of consumers agreeing that they find many herbal teas tasteless, and agreement with this statement higher among 25-34s and higher earners who are “core users” of green and herbal teas.
1333 internet users aged 16+ who have drunk tea respond the following question in February 2013: “Thinking specifically about herbal tea (e.g. green tea, Redbush tea, peppermint tea, fruit infusions), which, if any, of the following statements do you agree with? Select all that apply.”
A third of respondents agreed that herbal teas were healthier than standard varieties – Mintel said.
The research firm added that said sceptical consumers could be appeased – in terms of lack of taste excitement – via NPD such as Tetley’s Blend of Both, an ‘everyday’ blend of green and black teas.
More broadly, Mintel statistics show that almost 9/10 UK consumers drink tea and almost 3/5 do daily, highlighting its important as a British staple.
Ritualistic tea ritual
Standard teas are the most popular variety – accounting for 70p+ in every £1 ($1.55) spent on tea and 80%+ volume sales – and Mintel said the ritualistic nature of tea drinking was its selling point, with half of consumers agreeing they enjoyed this aspect.
“Tea brands have looked to leverage this sense of ritual and occasion, particularly through NPD and advertising,” Mintel said.
Twinings released a more upmarket version of its standard tea in January 2013 and rivals PG Tips, Tetley and Yorkshire Tea are emphasizing relaxation and social connection via marketing campaigns, it added.
After UK brand Vivid launched a chilled Matcha (Japanese powdered green tea) –based RTD last week, a Mintel spokesman told BeverageDaily.com that Tetley also sold a Matcha variant “that can be drunk with hot water or can be added to milk, fruit juice or smoothies”.
“This level of customisation is likely to appeal to younger consumers, particularly 25-34s who are more likely to drink herbal teas for their functional benefits,” he added.