In March, Ryan Collins, Tea Marketing Manager for Finlays Americas, visited World Tea Expo. This is the leading tea event and largest gathering of the global tea industry where Tea experts and enthusiasts gather to witness the latest tea innovation and learn more about the trends and challenges in the global tea industry.
Here he shares three key insights about how one of the world’s oldest existing beverages can win the hearts of US consumers through its long-lasting health benefits and unique, complex attributes.
1. Marketing Tea Like Wine?
Tea and wine might be distinct beverages, but they have strong similarities as well. Their production, environmental factors, subcultures, and the way they are consumed are oddly alike. From ritualistic ways of consuming these beverages, to the environmental factors necessary to yield the right qualities, the two complex drinks have been loved by consumers across the world for centuries. One of the major takeaways from World Tea Expo surrounds Americans’ perception of tea, and how it differs from other cultures. US consumers have a deep appreciation for wine and its unique complexities. Despite similarities to wine, tea has not cultivated the same level of appreciation for its attributes in our culture. Tea’s value perception and consumer interest in the US market would increase if the industry influenced consumers to understand the nuances of tea the same way they do for wine.
2. Trending Flavors
World Tea Expo showcased a variety of trending tea products, including fruits and botanical pairings in tea blends, matcha, boba, milk teas, and single origin teas. Notable products were a roasted matcha latte with oat milk and a fermented/preserved tea consumed in salad, a traditional meal in Myanmar.
3. Tea’s long-lasting health benefits
Tea is the original health and wellness beverage. Tea contains chemical compounds associated with an array of positive effects on human health. Tea is packed with powerful plant chemicals that are purported to support improvements in mood, focus, calmness, anti-inflammation, antioxidation and many other benefits to positive health. While no study allows for a direct claim of tea being curative, the supportive health benefits in tea are numerous. Education is key for consumers to understand how this ancient beverage can benefit their health and wellbeing.
With its rich global history, complex nuances, and variety of long-lasting health benefits, we believe that tea will win the hearts of US consumers in years to come.