Fruit, juiced & other tea trends.Tea is loved the world over, but in recent times, tea has taken on many forms beyond the traditional cup of hot, black tea, with perhaps some milk and/or honey added. Bottled cold and ready to drink, infused with fruit, flavors, and herbal medicines, and certified organic, new incarnations of tea give the modern tea drinker a variety of tasty tea options.
While Ruth Campbell of Bigelow was busy blending orange peel and spices more than 50 years ago to develop the popular Constant Comment tea, futurists probably were anticipating the likes of lemon ginger blends and functional/medicinal teas. Such forward thinking similarly will benefit today's manufacturers and retailers as consumers gleefully glee·ful
Full of jubilant delight; joyful.
glee hop on tea-trend bandwagons.
Second only to water in worldwide beverage consumption, tea is drunk by half the population on any given day. It's the third most consumed beverage in the U.S., with 80% guzzled iced. And its market is expected to grow in the near future as people seek flavor experiences, healthier diets, and reminders of home, serenity and simplicity.
Despite an increased array of specialty-tea innovations, firms once deemed "upstarts" for initiating unorthodox concepts still find room for growth. With heightened consumer awareness boosting sales of specialty teas, producers seeking to bring such products to market must vie with mainstream rivals clamoring for a portion of the hottest product trends. As discerning shoppers compare brands, they will influence how category share is allocated between truly natural, quality- and result-driven products vs. ersatz-natural, minimal-quality and price-driven products.
The ready-to-drink tea market has been infiltrated -- some say dominated -- by major soft drink manufacturers and makers of new age and candy beverages. Among this category, product color is an important consideration. Some products sport the traditional iced-tea hue, while others are naturally colored to add eye appeal. Enticing color schematics are evident, for instance, in Tazo's Simply Red, Brambleberry bram·ble·ber·ry
The fruit of a bramble (Rubus). and Tazo Berry teas.
Consumer avoidance of additives and GMOs Genetically Modified Organisms ge·net·i·cal·ly modified organism
n. Abbr. GMO
An organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered by the insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering. as well as awareness of sustainable farming have spurred interest in all-natural, non-GMO, natural and certified organic flavor, color and ingredient alternatives. Firms in recognition of these concerns include Portland, Oregon-based Tazo, known for its integrity stance and small batch/artisan-like production philosophy; Honest Tea, a Bethesda, Maryland, producer of organic teas characterized by what they do not contain -- artificial sweetener, corn syrup or tea powder; and Sonnentor of Austria, whose creative range of teas is designed with ingredients to act in conjunction with changing phases of the moon -- a new age" option for consumers seeking ingredients from controlled organic cultivation.
Flavored teas have caught on in some markets. For instance, flavored and herbal teas have proven successful for Scottsdale, Ariz.-based China Mist Tea Co. With 99% of its business in foodservice, China Mist has found that its most popular flavor, Blackberry Jasmine, is a huge hit with patrons of the hotels and restaurants that serve it and promote it, says John S. Martinson, co-founder, president and chief imagination officer.
But flavored teas are not for every market. In Japan, sweet, heavily flavored iced teas such as Snapple have nor been favored among Japanese female consumers, who opt for a more straight tea taste.
A fundamental question for developers of flavored tea products is whether the final product will be a flavored tea beverage or a tea-flavored beverage.
Juiced See Joost. See also juice.
Teas containing fruit juices have been gaining ground. Even in Italy, launches include Lipton's Fusion Peach and Cactus Iced Tea -- a tea and fruit juice mix. Tazo has been shaking up the tea category since 1994 with microbrewed iced teas and juiced teas. "I thought the tea category was stale," says founder Steven Smith. His passion propelled him to embrace bold and unorthodox concepts and ingredient usage. Smith recalls tasting fruit tea for the first time around 1970. That combination of rose hips, hibiscus, orange peel and lemon zest influenced him more than any other tea at that moment, he says. Today, he sees growth in the juiced segment, which he perceives as "fresher and brighter." Applying his fruit and tea philosophy to a liquid tea formula, Tazo's Plum Delicious Juiced Tea (a blend of plum and pomegranate juice and green tea) received the "Best New Tea" award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is a trade organization for the specialty coffees industry. The SCAA seeks to set standards for growing, roasting, and brewing premium coffees. (SCAA SCAA Specialty Coffee Association of America
SCAA School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (England)
SCAA South China Athletic Association
SCAA Spill Control Association of America
SCAA State Communities Aid Association ).
With the shelf-stable juice category appearing saturated, consumer demand for fresh will continue to lead, experts note.
With news reports touting teas' health benefits, functional/medicinal teas seem a natural. Rich in antioxidants Antioxidants
Substances that reduce the damage of the highly reactive free radicals that are the byproducts of the cells.
Mentioned in: Aging, Nutritional Supplements
n. , tea may help protect against oral, digestive, lung and colon cancers and may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Tea contains one-third to one-half the caffeine of an equivalent serving of coffee, but even among decaffeinated de·caf·fein·at·ed
Having the caffeine removed: decaffeinated coffee; decaffeinated soft drinks.
de·caf tea, the antioxidant antioxidant, substance that prevents or slows the breakdown of another substance by oxygen. Synthetic and natural antioxidants are used to slow the deterioration of gasoline and rubber, and such antioxidants as vitamin C (ascorbic acid), butylated hydroxytoluene level remains high. Tea is a major source of flavonoids flavonoids,
n.pl common plant pigment compounds that act as antioxidants, enhance the effects of vitamin C, and strengthen connective tissue around capillaries. in American diets. Armed with such information, consumers are more open to teas that promote healthful health·ful
1. Conducive to good health; salutary.
healthful·ness n. benefits. Martina Hinner-Kosloski, managing director of Food & Commerce, a Scotch Plains, NJ.-based importer and distributor of Austria's Sonnentor teas, believes consumers want products that enhance well-being while calming or invigorating in·vig·or·ate
tr.v. in·vig·or·at·ed, in·vig·or·at·ing, in·vig·or·ates
To impart vigor, strength, or vitality to; animate: "A few whiffs of the raw, strong scent of phlox invigorated her" them.
Teas including herbs and fruits with medicinal value are growing. Functional or wellness beverages account for almost 30% of beverages consumed in the U.S., according to Beverage Marketing Corp. Baby boomers especially welcome advances in therapeutic food retailing. Boomers seek quality and health-related innovations along with presentation and style, according to Impact Research data. As a consequence, industry insiders report that functional and medicinal teas will continue to provide strong sales and high margins.
"Consumers are looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. foods with preventative and curative benefits. It's a time to return to nature with herbal and natural remedies," notes Julie Halas, exclusive importer of La Tisaniere from Provence. The tisane ti·sane
An herbal infusion or similar preparation drunk as a beverage or for its mildly medicinal effect.
[French, barley water, from Old French, from Latin ptisana, tisana; see range is being imported into the U.S. for the first time exclusively through Southend International, based in Charlotte, N.C. Tisane infusions are an everyday occurrence in French homes, according to Halas, who is currently seeking distributors. Tisanes such as Chamomile chamomile or camomile (both: kăm`əmīl', –mēl') [Gr.,=ground apple], name for various related plants of the family Asteraceae (aster family), especially the perennial Anthemis nobilis, , Peppermint peppermint: see mint.
Strongly aromatic perennial herb (Mentha piperita, mint family), source of a widely used flavouring. Native to Europe and Asia, it has been naturalized in North America. or Nettle nettle, common name for the Urticaceae, a family of fibrous herbs, small shrubs, and trees found chiefly in the tropics and subtropics. Several genera of nettles are covered with small stinging hairs that on contact emit an irritant (formic acid) which produces a , or the misnamed mis·name
tr.v. mis·named, mis·nam·ing, mis·names
To call by a wrong name.
having an inappropriate or misleading name: "fruit teas," do not contain one leaf of real tea. South End International represents a selection of the La Tisaniere range including Linden and Lemon, Verbena verbena, common name for some members of the Verbenaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and trees (often climbing forms) of warmer regions of the world. Well-known wild and cultivated members of the family include species of the shrubby Lantana and of and Orange and Mint.
Capitalizing on perceived health benefits of green tea is China Mist. "We created Green Star recognizing the growing popularity of green tea due to its reported health benefits and because customers were asking us for a premium iced green tea," Martinson says. "Green Star continues China Mist's objective to be at the forefront of developing distinctive, high-quality iced teas for the foodservice industry, and both consumer and distributor response has been very positive since its introduction some years back. The key is promoting it, as most patrons do not expect iced green tea to be offered. Green Star Iced Green Teas brew a brighter yellow-green liquor with a flavor profile distinctly different from iced black teas."
Grapefruit and cranberry are sought after because of the healthy aspects associated with these fruits. The Republic of Tea's limited edition Sip for the Cure tea is on top of this trend with its blend of China green tea festooned with sweettart pink grapefruit and peony peony (pē`ənē), any plant of the genus Paeonia of the family Ranunculaceae (buttercup family, although placed in the order Dilleniales as a separate family, the Paeoniaceae, by many modern botanists), mostly Eurasian species flowers.
Edible flowers, such as, rose, lavender, honeysuckle honeysuckle, common name for some members of the Caprifoliaceae, a family comprised mostly of vines and shrubs of the Northern Hemisphere, especially abundant in E Asia and E North America. , nasturtium nasturtium (năstûr`shəm), any plant of the genus Tropaeolum, tropical American herbs (usually climbing) native to mountainous areas of South and Central America. and orange blossoms, have emerged as mainstream flavorings. Their appeal both as medicinal botanicals as well as their universality in aromatherapy makes them indisputable infusions with teas. Flavor companies report requests for passionfruit, orange and mango fusions. Orange-passionfruit is the most popular fruit tea offered by the family-owned Harney & Sons Fine Teas, in Salisbury, Connecticut, says John Harney. "The duo offers a combination of flavors that are always popular but also exciting."
When products become trendy, as have flavored and fruit-enhanced teas, neophytes often flood the category. But such product lines take time, tenacity and technology to succeed in the market. The companies that will prosper in the long run are those that aim to anticipate trends and then put together products with the right flavor technology and consumer appeal, say industry pundits. Many firms today complete the appeal by anointing a·noint
tr.v. a·noint·ed, a·noint·ing, a·noints
1. To apply oil, ointment, or a similar substance to.
2. To put oil on during a religious ceremony as a sign of sanctification or consecration.
3. their products with attention-grabbing names and individualism and deliver them in enticing bottles and engaging boxes and tins.
When developing new flavored products, manufacturers need to understand their strategic objectives. Since good-tasting products will increase market share, producers should consider the taste resulting from their flavor systems when developing products.
Tazo's Smith would like to see bottled teas move away from "soda pop" varieties - such as kiwi, lychee, blueberry blueberry, plant of the large genus Vaccinium, widely distributed shrubs (occasionally small trees) of the family Ericaceae (heath family), usually found on acid soil. They are often confused with the related huckleberry. , passionfruit, etc. "At one time, tea was simply the vehicle for the flavor. You had ah essence in a cup. If you were tasting blind it was hard to identify the true fruit flavors." He determined early in the product strategy phase that flavor would drive the category i.e., green teas matched up well with lighter fruit blends, while black teas paired well with berries. It is imperative to understand the functionality of the ingredients and how ingredients react with one another because flavoring is just one portion of how to make a good-tasting finished product, according to Smith.
Tazo's product range will continue to focus on applying fruit juices to a liquid tea formula that delivers flavor. Applying soy/dairy to this idea could offer another potential avenue that could cash in on the fruit juice smoothie smooth·ie also smooth·y
n. pl. smooth·ies Slang
1. A person regarded as being assured and artfully ingratiating in manner.
2. A smooth-tongued person. and functional beverage trends, appealing to consumers who want something flavorful that's not laden with fat. Soy-based beverages are seeing growth, with cream blends in the soy marker acting as product hot buttons.
By paying attention to trends and seeking consumer advice on taste and other product concerns, flavor and innovative tea companies can make great strides in a short time. For today, while ideas and strategies continue to be sketched, the future looks full of promise.
RELATED ARTICLE: The Skinny on Fruit Enhanced/Flavored/Infused Specialty Teas
* Fruit flavored and scented teas, also referred to as "fruit teas," are black teas or green teas (Camellia camellia (kəmēl`yə) [for G. J. Kamel, a Moravian Jesuit missionary], any plant of the genus Camellia in the tea family, evergreen shrubs or small trees native to Asia but now cultivated extensively in warm climates and in Sinesis) flavored with a fruit essence, fruit oil/zest, dried fruit or both.
* Juiced teas contain actual fruit juice/concentrate.
* Tisanes are made from herbs or herb blends and are flavored with fruit essence and pieces of dried fruit.
* Flower teas blend flowers with fruit flavors and/or dried fruit. Popular flower teas include Hibiscus and Jasmine and Chamomile.
* Dried fruit blend teas contain various blends of dried berries and other fruits.