Growth in the distribution of tea drinks in convenience store and natural foods channels as well as rising consumer demand for Fair Trade Certified tea products, will help propel U.S. sales of tea and ready-to-drink tea products to reach $8.3 billion by 2014, according to a new MarketResearch.com report. The report estimates that the U.S. tea market will reach $6.5 billion in sales in 2011, up 5.2 percent over last year, and steadily rise over the next three years.
The report states that while supermarkets are the top retail channel for tea products, canned and bottled tea drinks are achieving double-digit growth in natural foods stores. Additionally, green tea – a longtime favorite among health conscious consumers – is now the second-most popular variety of tea behind black tea. The report also indicated that consumer interest in specialized types of tea, including chai, rooibos, and mate are on the rise.
MarketResearch.com also notes that the U.S. tea market has benefited from rapid growth in sales of Fair Trade Certified products. The report states that sales of Fair Trade tea products are up 38 percent over the past year as a number of tea brands, including Honest Tea and Republic of Tea, have begun converting their product lines to include Fair Trade certified ingredients.