The Endangered Species List

T h e E n d a n g e r e d S p e c i e s L i s t


Is the traditional teabag becoming an endangered species?
You may have noticed it is disappearing from some environments and being replaced with its more evolved cousin – the pyramid teabag.

Coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels are moving away from the familiar saggy bag. It used to be that the traditional teabag was easily found in traditional and upscale locations. Not any more.


Starbucks and Dunkin are examples of two very prominent tea and coffee businesses that are moving to more premium teas. There are several good reasons for the upgrade:

Starbucks Pyramid Teabags

1. Tea retail sales are outpacing those of coffee.
In 2015, for example, coffee retail totaled $48 billion, while tea achieved $15 billion in sales. Coffee sales growth was flat compared to the rise in tea sales.

2. Starbucks sales growth has become based on price increases. Customer growth has shown signs of stagnation. Tea encourages customer growth.

3. Younger generations are about equally likely to choose tea as coffee. Tea is the option they are looking for.

4. Beverage preferences alter based on time of day. Tea brings people back.
Coffee may still rule the morning, but tea is becoming the preferred beverage for other times of day.

5. The growth in specialty teas has opened a world of better quality, better tasting teas with a wider range of flavors and functional (i.e. health) benefits.

Tea and coffee drinkers know- if you want cheap tea or coffee, you go to a diner, or the out-of-reach grocery shelves. They expect more from better coffee shops and restaurants.

Dunkin Pyramid Teabag Selection

Brands like Starbucks and Dunkin aligned their teas (and coffees) to deliver a more premium experience. Additionally, they use premium teas to create an even larger menu of drinks.

Premium teas can also give these businesses the ability to serve:

  • Iced teas
  • Latte tea drinks (hot and cold versions)
  • Tea mocktails (non-alcoholic versions of cocktails)


Kilogram (Intelligentsia) Pyramid Teabag

Pyramid bags offer several advantages over traditional teabags:

1. Pyramid teabags use whole or larger leaf pieces, with better quality ingredients.

2. Pyramid bags give more visual appeal– you can see the shape and color of the leaves and ingredients. Rich, colorful herbs and flowers like rose, lavender, and hibiscus become more apparent and attractive.

3. Pyramid teabags combine the convenience of a teabag but the appeal of a loose leaf tea. Pyramid teabags still offer simple preparation and cleanup.

4. Customers see, smell and taste the difference in the premium experience of a pyramid teabag over a traditional teabag. They know how to appreciate (and have come to expect) this upgraded experience.

Find out more about how Firsd Tea can develop your Tea Program or your Private Label teas.