UK tea sales fall as consumers switch to herbal

cup of tea

Traditional tea sales in the UK have dropped by 6% over the past five years as consumers switch to herbal and fruit teas, new research has shown.

Sales have fallen by from £699m in 2010 to an estimated £654m in 2015, according to figures from consumer analysts Mintel.

In comparison, sales of fruit and herbal teas have increased.

Food analyst Emma Clifford said traditional tea was being held back by an "uninspiring image".

From 2012 to 2014, sales of fruit and herbal teabags rose by 31% from £58m to £76m, while sales of green teabags increased by 50% to £36 million.

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Mintel said research showed people were turning to the alternatives because they believed they could affect mood and have health benefits.

Ms Clifford said: "Standard black tea is struggling to maintain consumers' interest amid growing competition from other drinks - held back by a rather uninspiring image.

"Reflecting a growing 'foodie' culture in the UK, people are branching away from standard teabags and towards these more interesting alternatives."

Mintel's research suggested falling sales in biscuits might also be adding to the decline.

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