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Statistics on tea; while tea consumption in Germany remains relatively stable, sales in specialty shops are on the rise.

While tea consumption in Germany remains relatively stable, sales in specialty shops are on the rise.

Even though hypermarkets continue to be the main place of tea purchases in West Germany, with about a third of all tea consumed in households purchased there, specialty tea shops are inching their way to the top.

For the first time in history, specialty tea shops have moved up to second place; their share quantity-wise in 1992 was 17%, b value, it was 23.6%. This represents a market gain for the specialty trade, whose share has developed as follows: 1990,13.4%; 1991, 13.7%; 1992, 17%. This trend represents the West German consumer's increasing quality consciousness.

There have been strong fluctuations in places of purchase in East Germany, both in terms of quantity and value. This is probably indicative of East German consumers' still being in a phase of orientation, which is expected to continue in the current year.

Concerning flavored tea, there has been little change in consumer preference. There are approximately 100 different flavors available in Germany, with eight flavors covering 74% of the total demand. constant for a number of years at around 20,000 tons and is indicative of a stable demand. Growth since 1990 of over 2,000 tons can be attributed to the reanimation of the East German market.

The majority of the tea is imported from India, with 29.7% in 1992. Sri Lanka comes in second with 15.7%, and China follows with 10.2%. The remainder comes from Indonesia, Africa, South America, the Netherlands, and Great Britain.

The total amount of tea imported to Germany in 1992 was 24,823 tons valued at DM 134.696 million (imports went up quantity-wise by 0.4%, but lost value-wise by 2.7% compared with 1991), according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, Wiesbaden.


In previous years, per capita consumption of tea was derived from two sources; the quantity of taxed tea (tea put on the market and actually consumed), and the size of the population as confirmed by the Federal Bureau of Statistics.

In 1992, knowing that the tea tax was to be abolished, German traders reduced their stocks, and more tea came onto the market than the tea tax yield reflects. Therefore, computation of per capita consumption on this basis is not viable. Under the circumstances, consumption of tea in 1992 can only be estimated on the basis of figures made available for household consumption.

West German household consumption at 9,158 tons was back to the level of 1990. The German Tea Council reports that tea consumption, therefore, is unchanged. The Council estimates that the slight fluctuations in tonnage are due rather to external market factors than to changing consumer habits.

The average West German household consumed 363 grams of tea, about two and a half times more than the East German tea drinking household, which consumed only 143 grams.

The West German region of North Germany, including East Frisia, which is traditionally a heavy tea drinking area, accounted for 38.3% of the total market, which is indicative of a slight loss compared with 1991 (39.8%). However, this district continues to be far ahead of all others, with 682 grams of tea consumed per household in 1992.

Consumption of tea in South East Germany (Saxony and Thuringia) declined against the previous year's figures (1991 - North East, 145 grams, South East, 148 grams per household).

Concerning packaging trends, there has been little change over the past few years in the share of loose tea compared to tea bags. In East Germany, tea bags are about twice as popular as in West Germany.

This article was excerpted from a report by the German Tea Council.
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Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Nov 1, 1993
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