This year, tea’s not just here to stay—it’s poised to rise. According to MarketWatch, the global tea market will grow by 6.88 billion from 14.45 billion at the end of 2016 to 21.33 billion in 2024. Louise Pollock, the President of food, health, and wellness PR firm Pollock Communications, told Beverage Daily, “The beverage category has grown exponentially and tea is set to experience a lot of growth moving into 2017 and 2018.” But what exactly can we expect from the tea industry this year? We noticed a few prominent trends you can look forward to this year:
1) Green Tea
After surveying 1700 registered dieticians, Pollock Communications named green tea one of the Top Ten Superfoods of 2017. As busy Americans look for beverages on the go that are both convenient and healthy, look out for more bottled green teas. In addition to green teas, Pollock Communications expects teas made with whole leaves and natural ingredients to rise, thanks to our increasingly health-conscious population.
According to Datassential, matcha grew by 50% in the US from 2010 to 2015, and multiple sources say it will continue to rise in availability and popularity in the coming years. In 2015, just 1% of non-alcoholic beverage menus included matcha, so it’s still in its early stage of consumer awareness and demand, but get ready to watch that number climb. Matcha most commonly appears on menus as a tea or in blended beverages, but it’s also a great ingredient in baking, as we illustrated with White Chocolate Matcha Brownies. So look out for this green powder on dessert menus or in the grocery aisle to make your own tea-infused baked goods.
3) Tea on Tap
Restaurants want to make it easy to deliver you a new, exciting product. FoodBytes says, “Suddenly everything is on tap—wine, cocktails, nitro and cold brew coffee, kombucha, on-tred spirits like amaro.” That’s right: this year we predict you’ll see kombucha and other teas on tap with greater frequency. It’s part of a larger trend you’ll see in 2017: packaging and formatting that makes tea even easier to grab in a restaurant or on the go. From eateries that have self-serving taps at your table to coffee shops, movie theaters, and supermarkets offering exotic bottled teas, 2017 will see more grab ‘n sip options than ever before.
4) More, More, More
Tea trends from the last several years will drive the growth of tea consumption at home, at restaurants, and on the go in 2017. We’ll continue to see teas blending herbs and spices to deliver exotic and flavorful beverages, lesser-known leaves like oolong and rooibos sharing shelf space with black and green teas, tea dishes incorporating on-trend flavors like cateja, tea-infused cocktails, coffee-inspired teas (i.e. a green tea latte or mocha), ingredients like berries and fruit replacing milk and sugar as co-stars in every cup, and the strong performance of iced tea—85% of tea consumption in the USA is iced, per the Tea Association of the United States. These trends are far from over, and we’ll continue to see them grow this year.
Whatever way you pour it, the teacup is looking half full for 2017!