TAROT: A CATALOG OF MOTIVATORS
One might understand the Major Arcana of the tarot card deck as tools of predicting the future, but those with an eye toward marketing can see how tarot cards can be a helpful catalog of the passions that drive our lives. Many of the cards depict the more primal motivators in life.
When a view of tea beverage trends is combined with the Tarot as symbols of motivation, these 2021 tea predictions reveal a colorful collage.
DIGITAL CONVENIENCE, ANALOG CONNECTION
The Lovers card isn’t as much about physical love, as about shifting relationships. Like the rest of the world, tea consumers will seek analog connections while still appreciating the digital conveniences they had enjoyed during periods of lockdown. Consumers and brands will seek to rebalance their touch points to try to offer the best of both worlds. Look for ways to optimize the re-balancing and re-engagement of relationships between brands and consumers.
COME FOR THE HEALTH, STAY FOR THE EXPERIENCE
The Magician indicates a drive toward resourcefulness as related to transformation. As was seen during this and previous health crises (e.g. SARS, MERS), healthy beverages like tea saw a jump in consumption. Consumers who initially increased their tea drinking for health reasons discovered an enhanced appreciation for the tea experience. Resourceful tea drinkers (and tea brands) are more motivated to extend the transformation of tea as an increasingly popular drink that offers multiple benefits.
EXPANSION OF BENEFITS AND FLAVOR
The Empress captures the desires of inspiration and flourishing taking place in tea. Consumers and brands continue to look for ways to make green tea in particular more appealing. Recent developments have included probiotic teas, teas with added vitamins, and new experiences with hopped teas and cold-brew tea flavors gaining ground. Expect these new teas and tea formats to continue to flourish.
DECLINES IN MASS MARKET BLACK TEAS
As with The Lovers, Death does not necessarily imply physical death. The Death card relates to the desires associated with decline and atrophy. The new breed of health and quality-conscious tea drinkers are killing tired and staid supermarket black tea bags through their purchase decisions. Store brands and national brands are responding with more health-focused, premium, and socially responsible offerings. The death knell is ringing for the traditional plain black tea bag.
Moderation was a powerful motivator in 2020, and the trend will continue to be seen in 2021 in terms of alcoholic beverages. Kombucha (made with tea), hard-tea, and malted beverages (including tea + craft beer) have seen an impressive uptick in interest. Many people are looking to dial down the unwholesome aspects of alcohol consumption while also branching out in terms of variety. Hard kombuchas swooped in to fill part of this gap, and along with regular kombucha, saw ample gains in market share. Expect the drive towards tempered lifestyle choices to continue.
SHAKING OFF THE DUST OF 2020
The momentum behind these 2021 tea trends will depend on a few key carry-overs from years past. Trade agreements between the US and Asian countries were altered during the Trump administration, so new policies and tariff levels will impact tea’s overall position. Additionally, a Shipageddon disrupted the regularly scheduled flow of goods through the supply chain. At this point it is hard to see how far the shadow of the past will stretch.