Store Brand Tea – Hidden Successes

S t o r e B r a n d T e a H i d d e n S u c c e s s e s




Private brands have tapped into the underlying desires of consumers for:

  • greater value
  • trusted brands
  • sustainable, natural products

The success can be seen across multiple segments, including packaged teas.


$10 Billion US Tea Market by 2020

80% of US households buy tea

50% of Americans drink tea daily, with room to grow

More than anywhere, grocery and supermarkets possess the best opportunity to take advantage of private brand tea because they are best positioned to offer:

  1. Value: quality-for-price
  2. Convenience: community presence, overall access to range of items
  3. Trust: dependable products across segments
Source: Statista

Since nearly all teas (national and store brands) are bought in grocery and supermarkets, these stores hold the best cards to play in terms of leveraging national brands and store brands at the same time. They already move the most national brand tea into the homes of shoppers- they have the data on pricing, popularity of flavors, and tea functions that tea drinkers are seeking. Adding their own competitive store brand to the mix means phasing away shelf space from the national brands as their own store brand gains ground. And this is not an uphill battle- private brands already dominate most national tea brands.

Source: Statista, IRI, BIM


See also: US Tea Market Trends

Creating a successful line of store brand teas may start with simple imitation of national brands, but sustained success will require tapping into unmet needs. One of those unfulfilled desires is for green tea.

Source: Statista

The popularity of green tea may appear surprising at first- black tea seems to claim the lion’s share of the overall tea market. However, recent reports of US Market Trends and China’s Increased Green Tea Production point to the rise in green tea capacity and imports into the US. The tide may be turning.
Indeed, it is inadvisable to put all your chips on the table for green. A better course of action is to create functional blends with range of base teas, including: black, green, oolong, and herbal ingredients. Green tea easily stands at the crossroads of consumer taste preference and functional value- tea drinkers enjoy the taste and appreciate green tea as a health-promoting beverage.
Other types of tea need not be ignored. Oolongs were once over-hyped as a fat blasting tea that would melt away the lbs. A more moderate message combining oolong tea, healthy metabolism and active lifestyle can leverage the “skinny” assocaitions of oolong without flogging a dead horse.


See also: 5 Keys to Private Label Tea

See also: IRI- Consumers Find Value In Private Brands

Successful store brand teas are part of the bigger picture of a store brand initiative. IRI research points to the momentum successful brands are building with these guiding thoughts:

Private Brands Build The Base. Store brands develop loyal shoppers. Anywhere from 45% to 66% of shoppers choose their shopping destination according to the store brand options available.

Take Packaging Seriously. 20% of shoppers felt that store brand packaging made the product appear to be lower in quality than national brands. Successful packaging communicates value, environmental friendliness, and effectiveness of functional teas.

Position For Premium. Millennials may be taking the lead, but most generations are ready and willing to level-up for improved product quality and greater sustainability impact.

Imitate And Innovate. While imitation of national brands may get your foot in the door, consumers who turn away from national brands will look to store brands to start leading the pack. For teas, this will mean new and unique flavors and ingredients, distinctive functional benefits, and greater social-environmental impact.