Growing U.S. Demand for Specialty Green Tea
U.S. consumers have traditionally favored black tea more than specialty green tea. In fact, black tea consumption constitutes 80-85% of tea consumption in the U.S. However, consumers in the U.S. are increasingly adopting green tea. While black tea remains the predominant choice, green tea sales volume has increased over 60% during the last ten years. This behavior is being driven by a number of factors including perception of health, green tea’s many varieties and its novelty.
Green tea has long been promoted as a superfood and wellness product. Despite studies revealing health benefits across the spectrum of tea typology, green remains perhaps the most promoted and celebrated for its health benefits. This has instilled the consumer perception of green tea being healthier than its counterparts. A recent survey by the U.S. Tea Council revealed that more than half of Americans consume green tea when sick.
In addition to green tea’s benefits, it also boasts a number of varieties and nuances. This variety gives it appeal and also reveals a rich cultural heritage; consumers are increasingly interested in the cultural underpinnings of tea. Tea provides a rich cultural narrative, perhaps more than any other product as its points of origin include China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka and many other regions including South America and Africa. Interest in cultural origin is also consistent with a greater macro food and beverage trend in the U.S.
To many in the U.S., green tea remains an exotic food staple; this novelty is also propelling new interest in the drink. Demand for specialty and premium tea is growing considerably in the U.S. as consumers seek a richer tea experience.