This article was first published by Martin on LinkedIn
One of the many quirks of the UK is that we define each other by being either a tea or coffee drinker. It can cause genuine discomfort when the response to the alternative close “tea or coffee?” is simply “no thanks”.
Not that this has held back growth of soft drinks, where the value of packaged product now tops £4bn. Five of the UK’s top 20 grocery brands are soft drinks (The Grocer: Britain’s Biggest Brands 2017).
Combine the two categories, though, and iced tea is one speciality that the UK population has really struggled to grasp. Whilst our American friends knock back some $11bn of the stuff, it’s a concept that has defied numerous multi-million-pound brand launches over here.
Wind back as far as the 1995 launch of Liptonice and the only true winners have been the media agencies creating the glossy campaigns.
Yet the imminent imposition of the Sugar Tax threatens real disruption within soft drinks. Manufacturers are falling over themselves to bring sugar levels below the tax limit, which is coinciding with emerging consumer trends for natural and “free from” products.
From a low base Liptonice is showing double-digit growth, but struggling to shake of its image as tea, just cold. But a new generation of tea-based drinks is emerging which build on the natural, health-giving properties of tea to deliver a refreshing, contemporary proposition. Green tea, white tea, matcha….interesting ingredients abound.
As the MD and founder of Charbrew, Adam Soliman explains
“We believe there’s a huge opportunity for ice tea in the UK as consumers look for added-value products as alternatives to fizzy drinks. Charbrew hits a real sweet spot by creating a tasty, refreshing product that is low in sugar, free from artificial ingredients and yet which provides consumers with a health boost from caffeine and added B vitamins.
At last the UK is waking up to the potential for ice tea!”
If 2017’s new government presses ahead with the Sugar Tax it’s guaranteed to shake up existing sectors within soft drinks. After a long gestation period ice tea should be one of the winners.