We're going potty over tea again – with more young people opting for feel-good fruit and herbal blends.
Coffee remains the top hot drink for shoppers and commuters, but 43% buy a cuppa when out compared with 39% a year ago, analyst Mintel found.
The figure rises to 50% among 16 to 35-year-olds, who are likely to choose specialist teas such as masala chai.
Campaigners National Tea Day said half of brands are targeting 24 to 35-year-olds as they are more likely to try new flavours than older drinkers.
Researchers Mintel said: “Tea has seen something of a resurgence.” Millennials are choosing from detox brews and vitamin boosters to those with health benefits such as turmeric tea, which is said to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Trish Caddy, senior food service analyst at Mintel, said: “The popularity of tea amongst millennials is likely a reflection of the growing popularity of alternatives to the traditional cuppa.
“Speciality black, green and fruit, herbal and spice teas are particularly popular among 16 to 34-year-olds. Many ingredient-focused drinks that give added focus to flavour and a sense of occasion suit young consumers.
“That’s not to say they’ve abandoned the classic cup of builder’s tea as 77% of millennials drink standard black tea.”
Figures show the coffee shop market is set to top a record-breaking £4billion this year, up from £3.9billion in 2019.
But sales have slowed down from 9% growth in 2015 to 3% last year.
Mintel found a quarter of Brits buy coffee from fast-food chains, a fifth head to a supermarket cafe and one in six go to a traditional greasy spoon.
But Mintel’s Ms Caddy warned: “With more food outlets selling low-cost coffee, coffee shops without strong food offerings will fall behind.”
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