As National Afternoon Tea Week continues this week (8-14 August), new research from Mintel indicates that younger customers are moving away from the standard cup of tea.
The study found that just 16% of those aged between 25 and 34 drink five or more cups of standard black tea a day, compared to 35% of those aged between 55 and 64.
48% of those in the younger category said too much standard black tea can stain your teeth, while 23% said it has too much caffeine for them to drink it in the afternoon or evening, with 21% saying black tea is not good for hydration.
Interestingly, 50% of those aged 25 to 34 said they drink speciality teas, with 32% of those in the age group said they prefer more indulgent hot drinks to tea. In comparison, only 36% of those aged 55 said they drink speciality teas. Furthermore, 49% of Brits aged between 25 to 34 drink green tea, and 48% drink fruit tea, compared to 22% and 28% of those aged over 55, respectively.
As a result, while Mintel research reveals that sales of ordinary tea bags are estimated to have dropped by 14% between 2013 and 2015, sales of green bags grew by 39%, speciality bags by 8% and fruit and herbal bags by 13%. Overall, tea sales in the UK are estimated to drop by 5% in 2016 to reach £614m.
However, the study also found that cake sales show no sign of crumbling. Cake sales grew in 2015 at the fastest rate since 2011, with the market estimated to have grown by 3% to reach £1.22bn. Sales of celebration cakes are estimated to have reached £204m in 2015, up by 19% from 2013, and sales of large cakes rose by 5% in the period to £280m.
While 80% Brits eat cake, 51% of cake eaters say they eat it as a mid-afternoon snack. Eating cake is not limited to tea-time however, as 28% of this group say they eat cake after dinner and 25% have cake as a mid-morning snack. Furthermore, 6% said they eat cake for breakfast, rising to 14% of those aged between 20 and 24.
Going forward, Brits are keen to see healthier options – 80% said they’d be interested in buying cakes made with alternatives to refined sugar, 73% would be interested in cakes that use calorie-free natural sweeteners, and 71% are interested in cakes made with coconut oil instead of butter.