Twinings, for the first time in the UK, overtooklong-time market leader PG Tips in the 12 months ending in July, according toNielsen market research, an indication of the continuing national decline ofblack tea consumption.
Black tea remains the favored hot beverage with tea drinkers in 72% of UK households but Unilever-owed PG Tips [viewed as a commodity blend like Unilever’s Lipton Yellow Label] saw a decline in value of 7.2% to $122.7 million (£98.7 million) compared to $134.2 million (£107.9m) in sales of Twinings teas.
Nielsencollects data from grocery, supermarkets and mass merchandisers. The numbers donot account for foodservice sales.
Twiningsis viewed as the more premium brand with recent introductions of itsSuperblends and a line of Cold In’fuse cold brewed teas launched last year. Twotwo-calorie In’fuse teabags and health-inspired Superblends boosted sales by$13 million (£10.5 million), according to a report in The Sun.
YorkshireTea came third with sales rising by 5% to $121 million (£97.6m), according toNielsen data.
PG Tips has responded todeclines with promotions reinforcing its sustainability, “with great tastecomes great sustainability” reads a Rainforest Alliance themed campaign. Inaddition, the company has committed to going 100% biodegradable tea bags.
The brand remains afavorite, ranking No. 1 by number of users with 7.1 million fans in 2018 butthe number of users has fallen from 9 million since 2013, according to KantarMedia (UK). Kantar reported that in 2018 Twinings had 3.8 million users.Yorkshire Tea was named by 5.8 million that year. All three are better knownfor their black tea. Tea drinkers in the UK are switching to green tea andherbals, a worldwide trend expected to increase revenue to $9 billion by 2024,according to Market Research Future.
The Grocer mentioned:“Diversifying into areas reminiscent of chilly infusions and practical teas haspaid off for Twining, which gained practically £4 million. In the meantime, PGIdeas slumped beneath the £100 million mark because it bore the brunt of theblack tea decline.”
Britishtea drinkers consumed nearly 870 million fewer cups of tea last year “but the tea market was saved from a similarslump in value as Brits turned to pricier premium teas and fruit or herbalblends. Kantar Worldpanel data shows the value of tea has risen by 0.6% to$831.7 million (£669.2m) over the past year,” according to The Grocer.