Americans of all ages enjoy tea in its various forms, and families in the U.S. have emerged as a key tea demographic due to elevated usage of instant and ready-to-drink tea. Growth in the tea market is projected to reach $25 billion by the end of 2014, and will depend heavily on the ability of food manufacturers and marketers to connect with children and their parents perhaps more than any other consumers, according to “Tea and Ready-to-Drink Tea in the U.S.: Retail and Foodservice, 5th Edition,” a recent report by market research publisher Packaged Facts.
In order to fully leverage the family demographic, marketers must tap the influence of kids in terms of product and brand selection. According to Packaged Facts' February/March 2013 Food Shopper Insights Survey, two-thirds of grocery shoppers with children agree that their kids' preferences influence which groceries they buy. To win over the kids, ready-to-drink tea varieties are key to leveraging convenience.
For example, liquid concentrates offer the opportunity to retain convenience, yet give kids the power to control their flavors and "play" with their beverage. At present, teas aimed specifically at kids and teens are underrepresented. Foodservice operators could also use tea as a better-for-you beverage in lieu of soda as part of kids' meals.
Nevertheless, marketing products to kids is tricky business, and tea companies and brands must first gain acceptance by the purchaser (the parent) to fully maximize their efforts. Millennial moms in particular are an important target for industry players to consider as the gatekeeper for family household purchases, says Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle.
Tea marketers can win over the parent demographic by positioning tea as a replacement for alternative beverages. This means leveraging tea's healthful properties and perhaps even juxtaposing these attributes against other popular sugary kids' beverages (i.e., sports drinks, soda), all the while underscoring ethical farming and production practices.
Tea marketers must also harness the powers of the internet, social media and the blogosphere when specifically seeking to connect with Millennial moms. Technology impacts almost everything a Millennial mom does and buys for herself and her family—from online purchasing, checking her Facebook page, or posting a photo and location on Instagram. It's therefore essential for tea marketers to engage Millennial moms with relevant dialogue to keep them loyal and spreading the word to her social circle.
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About Packaged Facts, Rockville, Md., a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, consumer packaged goods, and pet products and services.