Tea manufacturers reinvigorating hot tea category
Function, flavor and country origin coming into play
With the January chill in the air, reaching for a hot beverage becomes almost a necessity for those braving the colder climates. Given this chilly weather, it’s no wonder that January also is Hot Tea Month, giving consumer publications and bloggers a plethora of tea-centric topics and celebration guides.
Although tea’s history dates back centuries, beverage manufacturers are finding new ways to keep this established category a “hot” topic for consumers. For example, Lipton introduced its Wellness line back in 2017. The wellness range was made with carefully selected botanicals and blended with essential oils to support daily well-being, the company says.
Roughly a year later, the brand expanded the line to include Terrific Turmeric, an herbal tea that features an amalgamation of turmeric, ginger and orange. Citing Ayurvedic tradition, the blend is designed for aiding digestion and supporting joint movement, the company says. Additionally, Miracle Moringa, an herbal supplement that combines moringa, green tea and pomegranate, joined the lineup.
Analysts also have been tracking the ways in which tea manufacturers are reinvigorating the hot tea category. In a September 2018 blog post titled “5 tea trends to look for in 2019,” Amrin Walji, a senior innovation analyst for Mintel, pinpoints trends from around globe. Utilizing the Mintel Global New Products Database, she selected five products that supports 2019 trends.
In addition to power teas like Lipton Daily Boost Green Tea with Ginger, Lemon Verbena and Turmeric from Germany, Walji highlights bold flavors (Green Hills Rum and Honey Flavored Herbal Tea from Poland), a veggie revolution (Pompadour Veggie Mix Infusión de Verduras Relax from Spain), relaxation (Fabindia Organics Organic India Certified Organic Tulsi Honey Chamomile Tea from India), and digestive health (Cofco Chinatea Pro Tea from Malaysia).
Analysts also note how country of origin is coming into play for the tea market. In a June 2018 Euromonitor International blog post titled “Trendspotting at World Tea Expo 2018,” Matthew Barry detailed how exhibitors at the expo were trying to educate tea drinkers about how unique characteristics can be found in tea types based on specific origins, similar to wines and grape-growing regions.
“Producers were thus trying to highlight how their tea’s natural origins made it unique,” he wrote. “Kenyan producers, for example, were displaying purple tea, a unique strain noted for its purplish tint and high flavonoid content. This was especially true of countries not traditionally known for their tea production. Producers from Colombia, for example, were highlighting the unique flavors of their tea and trying to show people who instinctively associate Colombia with coffee that it is a tea producer as well.”
As consumers kick-off the new year, perhaps they will be warming themselves with some hot teas that extend beyond the traditional set.