PG Tips Perfect with Dairy-Free

Who: Unilever

What: PG Tips Perfect With Dairy-Free

Where: Hot beverages

How much: £2.60/70 bags

Why: Free-from continues to be a bonanza for ­grocery. The category’s value surged by 37.5% over the past year to reach £1.47bn, as volumes shot up 26% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 26 March 2018]. As a sign of confidence in the market, many big brands have added products specially designed for free-from shoppers. That includes PG Tips. In March, the UK’s bestselling tea brand launched a variant that promises to “perfectly complement” milk alternatives made from the likes of oats and almonds.

Consumer verdict: Ahead of trial, shoppers in the Midlands were more engaged than those in other regions. Upon serving with soya milk, interest in the tea increased, though reception was still mixed - with southerners the most critical. Naysayers thought the tea was “a bit gimmicky”, lacked strength and depth, and had an odour “like manure”. However, there was also praise for the “smooth” and “refreshing” beverage. It was “great for vegans” and tasted “exactly the same as regular PG Tips”. Overall score was slightly above the category norm.

Pre-trial purchase: 37%

Post-trial purchase: 46%

Better than what’s out there: 39%

New and different: 61%

Overall score: 39/50