The Power of Tea

The Lempert Report
September 08, 2015

Check out how this old school favorite is developing into one of America's hottest trends.

Head into any "coffee" shop these days and it's not just a range of lattes and flat whites on offer, there's also a range of teas. According to Tea Association of USA, Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, and can be found in almost 80% of all U.S. households. It is the only beverage commonly served hot or iced, anytime, anywhere,  and on any given day, over 158 million Americans are drinking tea.

Of late, Starbucks’ Teavana and DAVIDsTEA are two specialists raising the bar in tea merchandising and pushing price points beyond typical supermarket levels. Though Teavana has only about 330 stores and DAVIDsTEA has about 25 in the United States, expansions are planned. Teavana is Starbucks’ fastest-growing segment, CEO Howard Schulz reportedly told analysts this spring and there's no doubt that consumer exposure to these stores in malls and other shopping areas will raise awareness of teas in supermarkets. 

These chains also cross-merchandise loose-leaf teas with cool accessories and educated staff who can share knowledge and offer samples. Whether it's sweet, fruity or citrusy blends, iced or hot, the tea trend is growing. 

With this growing trend in mind, we think Supermarkets can look to capitalize on Tea products and ideas, for example, Tea Bars! Coffee shops and growler bars are popular and grocerants are on the rise. Why not place relaxing, scent filled tea bars within the store, allowing shoppers to sit for a minute, sample and buy specialty teas?  Also, add teas to refrigerated beverage displays of juices in the produce department, or design shelves around  specialty teas. Describe flavors and health benefits and design the shelf space in an eye catching, compact and informative way. And finally, offer tea-based recipe ideas on the website and near meat and seafood.

According to TEAUSA, “tea sales are forecast to double over the next five years,” so Supermarkets should look to benefit from this and leverage both brew and iced tea beverages in its many forms.