The next generation of British tea drinkers is turning its back on the classic cuppa, new research has found.
According to Mintel, younger consumers are less devoted to “traditional English tea” than their older counterparts; only 53% of 16 to 24-year-olds drink it regularly compared to 68% of over-55s.
As a result, tea has been experiencing a long-term decline in usage. The proportion of adults who drink tea dropped from 87% in 2006 to 81% in 2010 – at a time when overall soft drinks revenue is on the increase.
The market value of tea currently stands at £647m, and the traditional English breakfast tea segment – which accounts for 89% of value – has seen declining volume sales, says Mintel.
The younger generation are much more likely to be among the 23% of the population who drink standard English breakfast tea alongside newer varieties such as herbal and fruit teas and speciality teas such as Assam and Earl Grey.
Mintel says that a third of 16 to 34 year-old tea drinkers drink all three tea types, while among consumers aged over 55, this figure declines to 18%.
Mintel also found that the herbal tea market hit the £80m mark for the first time in 2010 (up from £73m in 2009) and that it has grown its share of the market to stand at 11%.