acid test twinings

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Who: Twinings

What: Twinings Plummy Earl Grey flavour loose leaf tea

Where: Speciality tea

When: Launched November 2014

How much:£4.99/110g

Why: Late last year, Twinings unveiled what it claimed was the biggest innovation programme ever seen in UK tea. With overall sales of standard everyday tea in decline, the company is hoping to revive the market with 16 premium loose leaf blends packed in resealable pouches. Flavours include Elderflower Green Tea, Popcorn Green Tea and the Plummy Earl Grey. “If the opportunity for premium tea is realised, it will overtake mainstream within the next five to 10 years,” said Twinings UK MD Jon Jenkins.

Consumer verdict: The £4.99 price was restrictive ahead of testing, but the strong and trusted branding along with novel packaging helped maintain good interest. Once tasted, however, the tea was a disappointment for some as the aniseed flavours were too dominating and the aroma “too perfumed”. Others commented on the refreshing nature and fruitiness of flavour. The price had the greatest impact, prompting one quarter to claim they would only consider purchase if on offer.

Pre-trial purchase: 22%

Post-trial purchase: 21%

Better than what’s out there: 39%

New and different: 56%

Overall score: 26/50