pure leaf tea

Two major suppliers are hoping to pep up the flagging tea sector with new black tea ranges.

Unilever’s Pure Leaf is a 10-strong lineup of ethically sourced tea available from 1 March as bagged and loose options (rsps: £3.99/16 bags and £5.99/120g-125g respectively). Packed in a transparent jar, each tea is single-origin and sourced from certified Rainforest Alliance estates. The range largely comprises black tea - including berry, vanilla and chai variants - but also features three green choices. The launch will benefit from a £2m investment.

It will be followed early next month by Tetley Indulgences from Tata - flavoured Kenyan black tea in Gingerbread, Spiced Apple, Cookies & Cream, and Chocolate Mint variants (rsp: £1.99/20 bags). With one calorie per 100ml, the NPD was aimed at satisfying shoppers’ “desire for a more indulgent drink without compromising health”, said Michelle Jee, senior brand manager for Tetley.

The brand is also eyeing the health-conscious market with the addition of a Matcha variant to its Super Green Teas range (rsp: £1.99/20 bags).

It comes as Teapigs has unveiled a trio of functional teas to tap growing demand for hot drinks that promote wellbeing. Available from 1 March, the premium Feel-Good Teas lineup comprises Clean ‘n’ Green, a detox tea; Snooze to aid sleep; and Up Beet for energy (rsp: £3.99/15 bags).

The tea category is down 3.9% in value sales, largely as the result of growing consumer preference for green and herbal variants [Nielsen 52 w/e 8 October 2016].