The fragmentation of tastes in the tea market is becoming ever more apparent with the growing popularity of fruit blends, some of which are achieving wider appeal and above-average ratings as consumers adopt lighter tastes.

Increasingly attractive packaging and unusual blends are further enhancing consumer perceptions of teas. Over the past six months we have tested Amaretto Explosion from Whittard of Chelsea and Green Tea with Nana Mint from St James's, a small company set up by three tea experts in 1987. Both brought new values to the market, particularly in their unusual packaging formats, which respondents could easily see as ideal for guests or as an unusual present.

Ironically, innovation in the standard tea market has focused on traditional blends delivering a strong tea colour and flavour at a time when many are looking for lighter tastes. As a result, some of these are now achieving lower ratings than those generated by their newer fruit competitors.

Nescafé Cappuccino To Go SCORE: 34 AVERAGE: 35

This three-pack of ready-to-prepare cappuccino was more popular with older picnickers than the younger group it was targeted at. An innovative format that delivered a mild, milky coffee.

Twinings Fruit Bliss - Rhubarb & Blackberry SCORE: 33 AVERAGE: 30

This blend has the potential to become a firm favourite with lovers of fruit teas. An attractive aroma and appearance set up an expectation of fruity flavour that was fully delivered.

Aero Instant Bubbly Hot Chocolate Drink SCORE: 35 AVERAGE: 30

The trademark bubbles that distinguished this drink attracted wide consumer interest. The only negative for some was a lack of chocolate flavour, which pulled back purchase intention post-trial.