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Tea In Possibilities

Published :  September 5, 2018

Put the Tea in Possibilities.

Tea continues to grow in sales every day—as more and more people are seeking out healthful and flavorful options, teas of all kinds are proving to be an ideal offering for operators and a more sought-after choice for consumers.

Americans see tea as the premier healthy beverage option

Tea recently took the lead as THE healthy beverage choice for American consumers when dining out, beating out juice and plain sparkling water. This is largely due to how consumers are increasingly turning to food as medicine, leveraging the health benefits certain ingredients bring to the table. When it comes to tea, the antioxidants, lower caffeine content than coffee (or none at all), and polyphenols allow it to serve a functional role that helps consumers feel good physically and mentally.

Taste is still most important

Even with the rising importance of health benefits when choosing drinks, tea drinkers say great taste is the most important factor when ordering tea drinks at a restaurant.1 Thankfully, there are near endless ways to serve great-tasting tea.
For some consumers, it’s about the purity of the tea—from the source to the unadorned flavor. For men age 18-54 (and especially the Millennial portion of this demographic), product attributes such as fair trade, organic, and fresh-brewed are most important.2 Options such as Pure Leaf® fresh brewed and iced teas are likely to appeal most to this audience. For others, added flavors are key. When it comes to iced tea, for example, peach (+6.8%), mint (+10%) coconut (+23%), kiwi (+14%), and vanilla (+8.3%) flavored teas have all shown increased menu mentions year over year.3

Fresh-brewed or bottled, consumers love tea

Fresh-brewed tea still leads the way as the method of choice, but Ready-To-Drink (RTD) tea is closing the gap. RTD accounted for approximately 45.7% of the tea market share in 2017, likely due to the convenience and as a healthier alternative to more sugary beverages.4

The key to keeping consumer’s interest high is frequent innovation and new flavors or products. According to the Tea Association of the U.S.A., “innovation will focus on a consumer-centric approach through the creation of new moments of consumption, new levels of sophistication, new ways of interacting with consumers.” 4 To this end, PepsiCo continues to develop new, enticing equipment to make fresh-brewed moments even more engaging, and RTD tea products flavorful and fulfilling. Through brands such as Pure Leaf® and Tazo®, the more discerning tea drinker can find exactly what they’re looking for, while brands such as Lipton® and Brisk® will continue to serve uplifting and bold experiences, respectively. The good news is that tea continues to be a positive choice for sales and consumer satisfaction, and PepsiCo can help you answer this demand in the way that works best for your environment, menu, and audience.


  • 1Packaged Facts, “Foodservice Tea Market Trends in the U.S.,” December 2016.
  • 2QSR, “Foodservice Tea Market Expected to Skyrocket,” January 2016.
  • 3Restaurant Business, “6 Iced Tea and Lemonade Trends Hitting Menus,” June 2018.
  • 4Tea Association of the U.S.A., “The State of the U.S. Tea Industry 2017-18.”