Global Tea Consumption

By Bonnie Hall — Sourcing and Quality Manager

 

Ever heard the expression “for all the tea in China”? Well…there is a lot! In fact, China produces about 40% of the world’s tea. China and India are the world’s largest consumers of tea, and these countries’ consumption is on the rise. This increase results in less and less tea being available for export to countries like the U.S. Some reports are saying as low as one third, or the equivalent of what China consumes in one year, will be available for export in the next few years.

Historically, global production has always outpaced global consumption, but this is changing. Tea is becoming more and more widely consumed and not just in traditional production countries like China but in the US as well. Did you know that tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, just behind water? Increasing consumption requires additional imports into the U.S. to support the demand.

According to the FAO, the U.S. is the world’s sixth largest consumer of tea, and we know how we like it… iced! And of all the teas produced in the world, only a select few are suitable for iced tea and even less for the premium teas that are sourced for use in S&D blends.

So, how does S&D manage the quality of our teas and maintain a high value supply chain?

Here are a few ways:

  • Traveling to countries of origin that we source from (such as the Misiones Province in Argentina, pictured above)
  • Maintaining strong supplier relationships
  • Staying in tune with global markets and tea industry trends
  • Participating in global initiatives like Tea 2030

Interested in learning more about the tea market? Check out our weekly reports located here