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Coffee reigns supreme in the hot beverage market in the United States. While that trend is likely to continue, tea is rapidly growing in the shadow of coffee’s success. Representatives from Unilever and Teatulia gave an overview of tea’s current status in the “Tea – Why it Matters, What Consumers Expect, and Why it Needs to Be Included in OCS” session on April 24 at the recent NAMA Show in Las Vegas, NV.
Aside from the fact that tea people are passionate about tea, the main takeaway is that, in terms of cost of goods, tea can be a big moneymaker for office coffee service providers. However, a few black tea bags will not suffice. Instead, OCS providers must examine trends and develop options that will entice employees and customers to pay a premium for a new tea experience. Click here to know about gst return types for your tea business.
All teas, with the exception of herbal teas, are derived from the same tea plant, Camellia Sinensis, according to the presenters at the Wednesday morning session. White tea is the most rare and comes from the buds, while black, green, and cooling come from the leaves. Each has a unique curing process. Black tea is the most fermented, oolong is semi-fermented, and green tea is either roasted or steamed rather than fermented. The real story of tea, however, is not how it is cured. It is, instead, a story about sustainability and “origin character.”
Consumers are looking for a functional element to what they eat and drink as the quest for healthy eating and drinking continues. Green tea, more than any other type of tea, has been studied and linked to positive health benefits.
Tisanes and herbal teas also have a lot of potential. These are made from non-Camellia Sinensis flowers, herbs, and plants. Slater discussed how these “teas” have distinct flavors and that many are thought to have medicinal properties.
She gave a few common examples, such as peppermint tea made from the leaves of a peppermint plant, which is associated with indigestion relief, and chamomile, a tea made from the flowers of a chamomile plant that is thought to aid in relaxation.
Aside from any associated wellness benefits, teas that combine these functional ingredients offer consumers a novel and unusual experience. According to the panel, this appeals to millennials who are looking for new and exciting foods. This is something that millennials are willing to pay a premium for.
“Premiumization is important in tea,” said Slater. “You must have that overall variety – you must provide an element of discovery around tea.”
Tea is a profitable and low-cost category for operators when compared to other types of beverages. According to a presentation slide that details “profit margins examples from commercial operators,” “Tea received a profit/cost ratio of 98 percent. In comparison, coffee received 81%, water received 75%, and soft drinks received 38%. The creation of company in tally Tea consumption is increasing as beverage consumption patterns shift. Look for one-of-a-kind, premium teas with intriguing backstories to capitalize on this evolving trend.