'Hot beverages' is a dry name for what is currently a hot category. There has been a constant flow of innovative new products over the past 12 months, which reflect many of the trends impacting on food and drink.
These cover provenance, lighter tastes, new ingredients and brands, and include Green Tea with Mango, African Ground Coffee, Italian Almond Tea and Japanese Mu Tea.
We have also seen coffee-house brands moving into the supermarket and tea brands moving into coffee. Ironically it was quintessential tea brand Twinings that enjoyed the greater success, setting a new category maximum rating in the coffee market with a mellow blend that satisfied a wide audience.
Admittedly it was cheaper than the Starbucks supermarket entry, but Starbucks coffee shop credentials didn't match Twinings ratings on brand and design values, or on the all-important taste and strength of coffee flavour.
Whittard Russian Caravan Teabags SCORE: 26 AVERAGE: 30
A strong traditional China tea that proved to be an
acquired taste. It's one for those tea drinkers who enjoy a strong brew.
Twinings Coffee Blends - Mellow SCORE: 43 AVERAGE: 30
This smooth, mellow, coffee hit the right note with a broad audience. A competitive price pushed the rating to a new category maximum.
Starbucks House Blend - Medium SCORE: 34 AVERAGE: 30
Starbucks fans were satisfied with this product, but the £3.49 price tag deterred many who failed to taste any benefit from the brand.