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Tea holds steady against all comers.

All drinks are competing for a share of a fixed volume market, according to The Tea Council's Annual Report 1990, and the average total drinks market consumption per person per day has not increased significantly over the last 10 years. Throughout this decade, all other drinks including alcohol, coffee and soft drinks have spent massive sums trying to curtail the dominance of the tea cup. In doing so, tea's competitors have spent some 313 million pounds in 1990 alone.

Despite these prodigious efforts, tea still remains the number one drink in Britain with more than 80% of the population drinking tea daily, consuming an average of 3.56 cups per person at a cost of approximately two and an half pence per home brewed cup.

This, as The Tea Council points out in its Annual Report, represents astonishing value for money, and tea has the added bonus of being a natural product with no artificial additives or preservatives and can be enjoyed in an infinite number of varieties. It accounts for more than 43% of everything we drink in terms of volume consumed. All this adds up to the British managing to consume 160,000 tons of tea per year, or an estimated 178 million cups of tea per day.

"In stating that tea holds steady against all comers," said Illtyd Lewis, The Tea Council's executive director, "we should make reference to our major competitor, coffee. When considering its overall performance, there is clear evidence of a decline in cups drunk per person per day in the mid-term consumption having fallen from a peak of 1.82 cups, or units, in 1987 to 1.72 unit in 1990, less than half the volume of tea drunk on average per person per day."

In the retail market, the volume share of tea bags continues to grow and now accounts for 82.4% of tea sales in Britain. In the catering market the vast majority of tea used--British caterers are estimated to serve some 10 billion cups per year--is as good as the tea used in the majority of British homes as a result of an unrelenting drive by The Tea Council to ensure the use of high quality tea by the catering trade. Commenting on the report, Illtyd Lewis said: "Throughout the world people are taking a more considered view of dietary habits and Britain is no exception in the general move towards healthier lifestyles. In this context, tea not only revives, refreshes and reassures, but also offers us a natural, healthy way of taking in fluids our bodies need to function properly, a message that is getting through to the children of the coffee generation--the under 35's."

During the past 18 months, the tea market has begun to stir with the introduction of round tea bags, foil packs, decaffeinated varieties and instant tea. More recently The Tea Council has launched the perfect brewing vessel, Teapot 2,000. This overall burst of market activity from the participating brands is creating positive dynamics from an assured market base.

"Tea is the best drink of today and will be the best drink of tomorrow," concluded Illtyd Lewis.
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Tea Council's Annual Report 1990 on consumption and market share
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Oct 1, 1991
Previous Article:Stable demand for tea in Germany.
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