The changing landscape of the tea market

– by Elyse Simich


While the tea market remains stable through major retailers in Australia, in terms of cups of tea consumed, major changes have occurred.

“Consumers are looking at more expensive innovative variants within black tea and changing their consumption habits to consume more herbal and green teas,” said Unilever’s Hot Tea Marketing Specialist Pauline Kanakis. “Black tea still represents 60% of the market and Lipton Quality Black tea is still the biggest volume brand.”

However, Pauline said over the last five years there has been a 12% decline in black tea through retail. Meanwhile, there has been a 38% increase in the popularity of herbal teas and a 14% increase in chai teas. Green teas have only increased by 2%.

By 2026 we will all be drinking remedy teas; enhanced with medication like painkillers and antibiotics

She adds that all these changes have occurred because of the increased focus on the wellness and health benefits that herbal teas have.

The biggest effect that this change has had is increasing the value of the retail market by 5% in the last five years, despite the fairly stable consumption of tea products.

Tetley, a popular brand of tea, has recently released the predicted trends for the next ten years. According to the report, by 2026 we will all be drinking remedy teas; enhanced with medication like painkillers and antibiotics. Looking at the recent health trends, such as super-foods and eating organic, it’s hardly surprising that we will be seeking to consume things with additional benefits.

Taking the “remedy tea” to the next level, the second prediction is the invention of the “Totali-Tea Tech Device.” It will come in the form of a wearable device that will monitor your vital signs and accumulate health data, just so it can serve up the cup of tea we need.


We all want instant gratification, right? Well, that’s where this third prediction comes in. Instead of having to wait for the kettle to boil and for the tea to cool down enough for you to drink it, why not consume your tea in the form of a spray or a tablet? If that’s not exciting enough for you, just grab a spoon and enjoy your tea in the form of a jelly, sorbet or syrup. You’ll never have to buy a mug again.

The fourth prediction urges tea-drinkers to learn a new skill and continue their journey of self-improvement, by growing and brewing their own tea. Remember, this is 2026, so naturally it will be a digitally revolutionised form of agriculture. Tetley sees smart tools in the future, helping these amateur gardeners fulfil this prediction — and post their journey on social media.

Last but not least: “Tea-Total Bars,” because who said coffee-drinkers should have all the fun. According to Tetley’s report, the 2010’s saw a major increase in coffee bars, so 2020 is the decade of the tea-drinker. These will provide consumers “with an alcohol-free alternative to pubs, cocktail and wine bars, and tapping into the thriving wellbeing market and growing tee-totalism.”

Well, tea-drinkers, your future’s looking good.


Photo credits: tetley.co.uk, smaggle.com

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