Revolution to Revelation

Many of us remember studying the Boston Tea Party in history classes. The political protest carried out by the infamous Sons of Liberty was an early dig at British reign of the U.S. colonies that was a precursor to the all-out rebellion that lead to American independence. This may have been the first time tea was in the midst of a revolution but it certainly doesn’t appear to be the last.

Over the last 10 years, tea has grown in popularity exponentially, such that 73 percent of consumers claim to love or like iced tea. As Americans have become increasingly health conscious, we now digitally capture everything from caloric intake to steps to sleep patterns. We are the most informed generation yet when it comes to the contents of our food and drinks and making healthy choices. As more and more consumers make informed decisions about their beverage choices, both hot tea and iced tea have seen increases vs. other calorie-rich and sugar-containing choices. Iced tea is consumed daily by 29 percent of consumers — a rate that is higher now than diet carbonated soft drinks. This shift is likely to continue as transparency of ingredients becomes not only a desire, but a requirement by consumers.

The beverage revolution will likely continue as the buying power of Millennial and Gen Z consumers starts to proliferate. The Center for Disease Control recently reported that between 2007 and 2015, daily soda consumption among US high school students decreased from 33.8 percent to 20.4 percent. Our next generation of Americans may be the most health-conscious in history; given that tea is one of the world’s most time-tested natural beverages, we’ll continue to see it rise in popularity.

Just think — nearly 250 years later and tea is still fighting the good fight. Don’t worry Boston, we won’t cause any trouble in the harbor this time around.

Pam Everett is the Director of Category Management, Tea at S&D Coffee & Tea.

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We will be celebrating National Iced Tea Month throughout June across all of our social media channels. Be sure to follow us for tea-related data, insights and trends.

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