Herbal tea has a hike in sales

Sales of traditional tea are being hit as more people chose herbal varieties

One cup of builder’s tea used to be enough to drown the nation’s sorrows, but new research from Mintel has found that its popularity is slowly decreasing.

Although the majority of tea drinkers still choose good old-fashioned English Breakfast tea, figures dropped from £470m to £463m between 2010 and 2011.

Meanwhile, more exotic varieties of tea have shown a more positive performance, with sales of fruit and herbal teas increasing by 10 per cent.

Decaffeinated tea has also seen a hike in sales by 16 per cent.

However, by far the winner, green tea sales have almost doubled from £12m in 2009 to £22m in 2011. Today as many as 12 per cent of Brits drink green tea on a weekly basis.

Alex Beckett, senior food analyst at Mintel, said, ‘While English Breakfast tea is fondly regarded, the expansion of coffee chains and the exotic flavours of fruit, herbal and green teas are encouraging consumers to diversify their consumption habits, prompting fewer cups of standard tea to be drunk. Though the segment continues to play only a niche role in the market, green tea, like fruit and herbal teas, has benefited from positive associations with healthiness. Green tea extracts are increasingly found in cosmetic beauty products, raising the profile of green tea among women in particular.’

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