For centuries, hot tea has been lauded as a healthy beverage due to its antioxidant content. These antioxidants are said to help boost metabolism and even fight cancer, according to a December 2014 report from IBISWorld, Los Angeles, titled “RTD Tea Production in the U.S.” As a result, this health halo has been a major contributor to sales of hot brewed tea over the years. More recently, ready-to-drink (RTD) tea has joined the ranks, boasting antioxidants and mounting sales numbers. However, these beverages will need to innovate past health and wellness trends in order to reach the next level of success, analysts say.
Retail volume of hot brewed tea in the United States has been flat or declining in the past two years; however, consumer preference for healthier, higher-value brands enabled the segment to gain 3 percent in dollar sales last year, according to Howard Telford, senior beverages analyst at Euromonitor, Chicago.