RTD Tea is Fastest Growing Category in C-Stores

While Ready-to-Drink Tea represents only 6 percent of overall bottled beverage sales in c-stores, the category has been by far the fastest growing over the last two years, according to a recent article in Convenience Store News.

C-store sales of RTD tea increased by 13.1 percent in 2010, compared to 8.5 percent for alternative beverages, the next closest category. Retailers believe the growth has come at the expense of CSDs, which consumers perceive to be less healthy than bottled tea, despite nutrition facts that might suggest otherwise.

Additionally, RTD tea is being sold at an acceptable price point in comparison to bottled water, a category that appears to be lagging in some c-stores due to consumers’ increased use of home filters and consumption of tap water, the report indicated.

Still, while the category is projected to continue its stellar growth, it doesn’t mean retailers are necessarily looking to carry, in higher numbers, new and various lines of bottled tea.

“How many brands and price point do you need here?” Dana Sump, beverage category manager for Casey’s, told Convenience Store News. “Space is such a premium in the cold vault, and right now it’s not broke, so there’s no need to put it in flux.”