The China tea production market has rapidly increased its share of China's beverage market over the past decade – from 7.0% of the total domestic beverage volume in 2000 to 25.0% in 2012. Over the past five years, industry revenue has been increasing at an annualized rate of 17.4% to an expected $14.7 billion in 2013. There are about 230 enterprises operating in the industry employing 69,021 workers. Employment and the number of enterprises in the industry have also been increasing over the past five years, at annualized rates of 12.0% and 9.7%, respectively.
The strong performance of the industry has been the result of increased consumer health consciousness and the rapid development of herbal tea beverages. This industry is focused on the large domestic market; exports contribute only 1.3% to total industry revenue. In addition, very little tea is imported into China. Imports account for just 0.7% of domestic demand.
In China, many brands compete in the tea beverage market. The MasterKong and Uni-President brands are industry leaders because they have dominant positions across many product segments. Their market shares have been increasing and their brands have been gaining popularity. Many well-known foreign beverage manufacturers have also entered the Chinese market and started competing against MasterKong and Uni-President. However, the market still offers opportunities for new entrants who can find the right market to sell to. Research and development (R&D) of tea beverage products is rapidly developing and new products can open new markets and consumer groups.
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