Tetley takes a view on tea in 2019

Traditional black tea is still Tetley’s top seller, but more exotic flavours are finding favour and enjoying strong sales growth. 

TEA shoppers are valuable to retailers. Whether it’s a black tea or a more exotic blend, customers picking up tea in convenience offer plenty of opportunities to increase basket spend.

Peter Dries, director of customer and shopper marketing at Tata Global Beverages, the firm behind Tetley, reckons tea is a category that’s key to driving sales across the shop.

“Repertoire tea drinkers who drink different types of tea are important to cater to as they drink more tea more often,” said Dries.

“Of everyone buying hot beverages, research shows that tea buyers are more likely to buy complementary products with their tea purchase.

“Milk, bread, cakes and biscuits are common basket companions, as well as cakes and pastries for on the go purchases.

“Better returns will come from having a strong black tea offering balanced by a mix of non-black teas selected to appeal most to your customers.”

To make sure tea shoppers are kept sweet, Dries suggested retailers need to ensure they stock the biggest brands as the bulk of sales are driven by a select few.

“87% of shoppers say that brands are an important consideration when buying tea. For black everyday, big brands account for nearly 80% of sales so consider the top brands when making your selection,” he said.

Black tea is unquestionably still king in convenience, with almost 80% market share, but it’s a subcategory where sales are in decline as more and more tea shoppers get more adventurous with their brew.

Dries said today’s tea shopper is looking for something a bit different, a trend which can be seen in category sales.

“Value sales are up across the board in impulse for products that fit the bill here: fruit and herbal (up 11.4%); Green (up 11.8%) and Redbush (up 9.6%).  Fruit and Herbal and Green are up in volume too,” he said.

Fruit, herbal and green teas are posting sales figures with solid growth and Tetley is well positioned to take advantage of this according to Dries.

“Within Green, Tetley has two of the big four SKUs Tetley Green 20s and Tetley Green and Lemon 20s, both are available in price mark packs of £1.49, and showing volume growth up 4% and 2% respectively.

“Tetley Pure Green 50s and Tetley Super Green Boost Berry Burst 20s with vitamin B6 are also among the top 10 best sellers and worth considering,” he said.

The attractiveness of more exotic teas isn’t all about flavour, with Dries suggesting the category has also benefited from increasing consumer interest in all things health.

“According to a study by Kantar, 31% of consumers select products for their health benefits, naturalness and positive nutritional content.

“In tea, functional teas have become a big draw and are bringing something very different to the shelf.

“Tetley has led the way in the development of a suite of Tetley Super teas with added vitamins and EFSA approved health claims ranging from immune system support to reducing tiredness and fatigue. The success of Tetley’s Super range of functional drinks has made this an important area of its business.

“Spanning Green Tea, Fruit and Herbal and new Super Squash, the award winning Tetley Supers range includes 20 variants with seven different health benefits.  Tetley Supers have brought new customers into both the Green & Fruit and Herbal segments and delivered strong sales and levels repeat purchase,” he said.