Unilever, primarily present within tea through the Lipton and Bushells brands, led the Australia tea market in 2012 with a 31% off-trade value share. Despite gaining in actual sales terms, Unilever's value share slipped one percentage point from 2011, as the instant tea category expanded beyond Lipton Chai Latte and Bushells, resulting in the company's off-trade value share dropping from 66% in 2011 to 58% in 2012 within instant tea despite gains in actual sales terms.
Instant tea, the most popular format for off-trade sales of chai latte, thus experienced 24% off-trade value growth and 23% off-trade volume growth in 2012, albeit from a moderate base. The instant tea category virtually emerged over the review period, due to the success of the chai latte instant tea format, which has proved an almost natural extension of the powdered single-serve instant specialty Italian coffee and hot chocolate formats.
Health and wellness considerations are likely to further drive interest in tea over the forecast period, in conjunction with the café culture premiumisation that has taken place within coffee. This is also likely to impact upon tea, as more sophisticated and/or lower caffeine beverages are sought by hot drinks connoisseurs. Demographic factors, such as an ageing population, are also likely to play a role in the future of the category. Tea is more often than not the hot beverage of choice for consumers in older age brackets. It is likely to remain so, due to familiarity with the product and its health and wellness credentials, despite the increasing consumption of coffee among middle-aged groups.
For more information on the Australia tea market, please click here: Australia tea market
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