Our cup of tea: Beacon advises operators to take advantage of recent tea trends sweeping the industry

Ahead of National Tea Day on 21st-22nd April, Beacon, the UK’s leading purchasing company, is examining the British love affair with tea and sharing recommendations on how to take advantage of this in the modern environment. – News from Beacon

With more than 51 million tea drinkers in the UK, and 165 million cups of tea consumed every day, it’s clear that tea is still a British favourite. Coupled with Insight revealing over a third of iGens (those born in 1996 or later) say they would pay more for tea or coffee with added health benefits, and the huge surge of coffee outlets, which are predicted to outnumber pubs by 2030, the UK’s love of a hot beverage is going nowhere.

Alice Bexon, Purchasing Manager at Beacon is urging operators to take advantage of recent tea trends, sharing her advice and insight from its leading suppliers.

“Insight from our supplier Tetley Tea has shown that we continue to be a nation of tea lovers, with an increase in popularity leading to a 7.4% rise in value growth within the tea sector. However, consumers are no longer satisfied with a simple ‘builder’s brew’ and are instead looking for more choice on menus, which can be demonstrated by the rise in alternatives such as green teas, herbal and spiced varieties. We recommend operators make the most of our longstanding tea habit, and take into account simple innovations within the tea sector as well as behavioural habits.”

The tea is greener on the other side
Black tea still dominates as the most popular drink consumed outside of the home, with 75% of consumers making it their drink of choice. However, as health and well-being trends boom, particularly amongst millennials, consumers have become increasingly selective about their dietary choices, with many opting for healthier hot beverages. Insight from Tetley Tea shows that 18% of consumers will choose a green tea, 17% will choose a speciality black tea and 15% would opt for a herbal tea. We recommend offering a wide range of fruit and herbal blends, allowing the operator to not only attract a health conscious audience but also a younger demographic, to help drive sales.

Further insight from Tetley Tea shows that consumers will soon be more concerned about ingredients and products that provide nutritional, physical and emotional benefits, in order to meet their self-care requirements. As consumers turn to drinks that serve a purpose, such as increased energy or relaxation, we encourage operators to capitalise on this upcoming trend by highlighting and effectively communicating their range’s health benefits in order to appear innovative and attractive to this new generation of customers.

The perfect pairing
Whilst tea is habitually chosen to quench thirst, it is also commonly paired with food. Studies from Tetley Tea show that, surprisingly, customers are more likely to consume food with tea than with any other beverage, with 62% of all tea occasions also involving food. In order for operators to capitalise on this, establishments could consider special tea and food deals, to encourage upselling. For example, consider offering an afternoon tea experience. According to OpenTable, the desire to take part in afternoon tea is growing, with bookings increasing by 54% over the past two years , allowing operators to capitalise on tea alongside food.

Experience is key
If introducing an afternoon tea offering, it’s important to stand out from competitors and be unique; one of the most effective or impactful ways to do this is by adding an element of theatre to the experience. One of our customers, The Best Western Clifton Hotel, Folkestone, has seen a major boost in its afternoon tea profits, increasing bookings by 900%, with the use of a stunt cake artist. Extravagant food artistry can range from chocolate teapots to icing flower arrangements – really giving your consumers something to talk about!

What’s more, a tea experience interwoven with a special dining element provides the ideal social snapshot, and our suppliers, including Destiny Foods, attribute a rise in the sales of colourful cake products to this. From bright macaroons to vibrant icing – the importance of a visually pleasing range is vital. By making your offering picture perfect, it encourages more customers to share their experience on social platforms, which simultaneously gives an operator free word of mouth advertising.”

Alice continues: “Despite growth in tea sales and popularity over the past two years, the category remains very competitive, and a thorough understanding of your audience is vital under tough overall trading conditions. Operators are encouraged to take advantage of tea trends, not only to meet consumer demand, but also to attract and engage with new audiences and create added value opportunities.”

All Tetley data from Tetley Tea Report 2018.

For more information about Beacon please visit http://www.beaconpurchasing.co.uk or follow Beacon on Twitter @Beacon_YPP.


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