Out-of-home tea sales are estimated at £300m, though out of 16.5 weekly cups, the average consumer only has 0.5 in coffee shops. In comparison, 11 cups are drunk at home and five at work.
And for those cups drunk in coffee shops, a premium brand such as Twinings or Teapigs is the most important factor to 62 per cent of consumers.
According to the report, consumers spend on average £1.68 on a cup of tea out of home compared to £2.31 for a latte or cappuccino, and 38 per cent consider tea to be good value for money in a coffee shop.
However, 53 per cent of tea drinkers said they would be willing to spend more on premium tea.
Two thirds would also like to see specialised tea chains on the high street, following from Starbucks’ US launch of Teavana Tea Shops in 2013 for example, which Allegra predicted would be a catalyst for other specialised tea shops in the UK.
Tea sales on the rise
Traditional black tea sales are in decline, but thanks to the rise in popularity of green, fruit and herbal tea, overall tea consumption in coffee shops is on the rise. It grew by 3 per cent in the last two years from 14 to 17 per cent, with 15 per cent of consumers intending to increase their tea consumption in the coming year, the report added.
Other trends observed in the report included customisation of brewing solutions, with non-dairy, lemon and added water for example offered to meet customers’ preferences.
A growing focus on healthy lifestyles is also driving consumers towards green, fruit and herbal teas, as well as tea blends with specific health benefits, such as cold remedy, boosting immune system or aiding digesting.
The launch of ready-to-drink teas such as matcha green tea from Teapigs is another trend mirroring the rise of ready-to-drink coffee drinks in coffee shops.