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Who: Marks & Spencer

What: White Tea & Raspberry Infusion

Where: Speciality teas

When: Launched May 2014

How much: £1/50g

Why: Tea sales have been off the boil for some time and there’s little sign of them warming up, with Kantar Worldpanel reporting total retail volume sales down 1.5% [52 w/e 20 July 2014]. The decline is being driven by Brits losing their taste for everyday black tea (down 5.1% by volume), resulting in a raft of launches and listings for speciality drinks. Such NPD has helped bring about a 6.3% hike in sales of fruit and herbal teas.

Consumer verdict: The pack was considered attractive by our respondents, which increased engagement and desire to try, resulting in an average pre-trial purchase intent score of 26%. This fell five points after trial, however, as the infusion polarised opinion. Those in the north were impressed with the “subtle flavours,” resulting in a score of 41 in the region, while consumers in other regions criticised it as “bland and tasteless.” These differences resulted in an overall score that was just below the category norm.

Pre-trial purchase: 26%

Post-trial purchase: 21%

Better than what’s out there: 19%

New and different: 55%

Overall score: 27/50

What is Fast Foodfax?

It is a subscriber service that has been running for more than 30 years, offering consumer assessments of new products and allowing comparisons with more than 17,000 products from our database. It is objective, impartial and totally independent, and each product is assessed using original consumer feedback from respondents across the UK. See here for further information.

Fast Foodfax is prepared by Cambridge Market Research , which works closely with The Grocer magazine on a variety of projects including the consumer judging element of the The Grocer’s Own-label Food & Drink Awards and New Product Awards. 

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