Opportunity a speciality

ALTHOUGH there has been a decline in sales of everyday black tea there are areas of growth within tea and the big brand owners are launching new products to secure a share of sales in those speciality sectors.

Tetley has extended its range of speciality teas and says price-marked packs across its range will help convenience stores compete with supermarkets and has introduced a virtual shop assistant to help promote its offers in store.

But director of customer and shopper marketing for Tetley Peter Dries said that nevertheless, everyday tea continues to dominate tea sales and price-marked packs enable convenience stores to compete with the multiples for everyday tea sales by offering value to shoppers.

It quotes Nielsen figures that Tetley commands 40.7% of tea volume of Scotland.

And HIM research shows that more than any other category brands matter to the tea shopper and that three brands account for  85% of c-store tea sales, the tea giant said.

Within c-stores Nielsen saw decaf tea growing by 13.1% in volume in the 12 months to June this year.

In the same period fruit and herbal tea sales were up by 0.8%, green tree sales grew by 7% and healthy teas rose 2.6%. In response to the increasing interest in green teas and healthy teas, Tetley has launched PMPs in those  sub-categories. “Tetley Green Pure and Tetley Green Lemon are available in price-marked packs of a £1.00 in shelf-ready trays of six,” Dries said.

PG Tips is spending £3m to support the launch of seven new green teas and herbal and fruit teas.

The four lines in the Tetley Super Green Tea range carry European Food Standards Agency approved health statements.

As well as its usual media activity Tetley is promoting its brands with the help of an in-store virtual version of the Gaffer character from its TV ads.

Dries said: “The virtual Gaffer unit has a sensor which tells the animated Gaffer when he is on his own so he can call out to passers by to come and look at the current tea offers.

“In his first assignment in Cash & Carry an increase of 26% in sales was seen.”

 nilever is also aiming at the speciality market with its latest tea launches.

It is supporting the introduction of Strawberry Cupcake, Lemon Pie, and Orange flavour green teas and new fruit and herbal varieties Apple & Cinnamon, Honey & Lemon Balm, Pear & Caramel and Cool Citrus with a £3m marketing campaign.

Brand manager Lola Danlos said: “By launching new and exciting flavours into our portfolio we aim to build on the growth we’ve seen across our range of fruit, herbal and green teas in 2014 and 2015.”

Unilever says that 165m cups of tea are consumed in the UK every day and that more than £80m of £654m  tea market value is spent in c-stores.

Unilever Partners for Growth merchandising and creative controller Nick Widdowson said: “Tea is consumed by 90% of households, so it is a key top-up item.”