New gen­er­a­tion behind comeback of the ‘cuppa’

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Sarah West­cott

AFTER years of de­cline, the amount Bri­tain spends on tea is on the up – al­though we are now a lit­tle more re­fined in what we brew.

Sales of tea from gro­cery stores and su­per­mar­kets – as op­posed to cafes – rose 3.5 per cent to more than £640mil­lion in the past year. Mean­while, spend­ing on cof­fee, malt drinks and hot choco­late fell.

The fig­ures show that a taste for a bet­ter qual­ity cuppa is fu­elling this sales surge.

Ac­cord­ing to trade jour­nal The Gro­cer, the amount spent is up but the vol­ume sold is down 1.1 per cent – in­di­cat­ing a move to more ex­pen­sive up­mar­ket teas.

Lu­cia Ju­liano, of poll­ster Har­ris In­ter­ac­tive which car­ried out the sur­vey for The Gro­cer, said younger adults these days wanted more than just the “milk-and-two-sug­ars” va­ri­ety.

She said: “It seems that the av­er­age brew is no longer enough for con­sumers, par­tic­u­larly among the younger gen­er­a­tion.

“There’s been an eight per cent in­crease in the past two years in the number of peo­ple who are will­ing to pay more for qual­ity tea, now stand­ing at 31 per cent.

“This is par­tic­u­larly prom­i­nent among 25 to 34-year-olds, where that fig­ure rises to 44 per cent. Per­haps be­cause flavoured and spe­cial­ity teas are per­ceived as more of an in­dul­gence, con­sumers are more will­ing to spend that bit more on their cup of tea.”

The fig­ures, for the 12-month pe­riod to the end of May, may only be a small step.

But to tea en­thu­si­asts across the country they are seen as signs of a comeback for the be­lea­guered brew, after the na­tion em­braced take­away cof­fee in the high street and hi-tech cof­fee-mak­ing ma­chines at home.

The fig­ures were compiled by an­a­lysts who sur­veyed 2,100 adults about their tea drink­ing habits.

They found that 41 per cent still like a cup of “builder’s” rather than herbal or green al­ter­na­tives. But they also found the amount of shelf space given to this black tea – the kind Bri­tain has drunk for over a cen­tury – is grad­u­ally mak­ing way for green, herbal and fruit flavours, as well as healthy “in­fu­sions”.

Tet­ley mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Peter Dries ex­plained: “Tea has wit­nessed some large de­vel­op­ments in the last year.

“The ar­rival of teas with ex­tra ben­e­fits is strik­ing a chord with shop­pers look­ing for some­thing healthy and dif­fer­ent. This is lead­ing to a high level of re­peat sales as well as bring­ing in new con­sumers to tea.”

SALES of tea are on the up. In a world of mac­chi­atos, pump­kin lat­tes and what­ever else they’re call­ing cof­fee these days, it’s nice to know that the old-fashioned cuppa is still a hot favourite.

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