North America is evolving a retail model that will supercharge the $90 billion global tea market.
Investments in tea retail quicken the pace of innovation with convenience foremost. Sales of bagged, bottled and single-serve broken leaf blends are quickly overtaking conventional.
High expectations for taste, convenience and no-mess preparation make specialty tea fundamentally different than most consumer packaged goods. Innovation is paramount.
Value-addition is invigorating a static supply chain that will cleft with mechanization at origin. High-margin artisan tea harvested by hand will make up 20% of volume and virtually all profits.
Value-addition capabilities are aggregating in Dubai, Germany, China and Sri Lanka.
“Specialty tea is in a constant innovation cycle that is attracting a lot of money, with acquisitions leading to expansion of existing lines and bold, new experiments in formulation, ingredients, packaging and retail outlets. The retail segment has attracted $1 billion investment in the past 18 months, clear evidence that investors see huge demand and huge growth opportunity.” Manjiv Jayakumar, President QTrade Tea & Herbs.