?"Fairtrade's profile is on the crest of a wave. In recent years, consumers have been looking for a marque to reassure and give authenticity to what they buy. Fairtrade has stepped into this vacuum with a price-based message. Despite a proliferation of alternative schemes, it remains the only one focused on guaranteeing a minimum return for farmers. "Fair trade was never meant to be the next marketing trend. It's about real, lasting change for the disadvantaged producer. If it doesn't reach this goal, then it will sell itself short, and consumers will simply take their money elsewhere."
Jeremy Torz Director, Union Coffee Roasters
?"Hot chocolate is important. Firstly, it can deliver great profit per square foot especially during the colder months. Secondly, it is indulgent and fun - it signals a retailer's commitment to luxury, indulgent products that taste great. A great hot chocolate range says a lot about a retailer's consumer focus and ability to offer choice and range. In our experience retailers are more interested in the category than ever before, saying that it is fiercely competitive."
Richard Cooper Brand marketing manager, Aimia Foods
?"Green tea has clearly become a mainstream beverage. When we started - nearly ten years ago - very few people had heard of green tea. Now I would say that there are very few people who haven't heard of it. The green tea market is very competitive and now somewhat overcrowded. We are convinced that, ultimately, quality will prove the most important point of differentiation. For example, all our teas are sourced from 465 farmers who are members of the organic fair trade association in China. Consumers are realising that quality is important and that the quality of green teas on the market can differ a lot. Teas can change from field to field and from harvest to harvest."
Joe D'Armenia Founder, Qi Herbal Health
?"Consumers are so much more familiar with different types of coffee nowadays. They are drinking varieties they wouldn't have considered five or ten years ago. They try a
coffee on the high street then want to replicate
it at home but for that they look for the reassurance of a brand. New coffee machines that use pods are an interesting area and they are contributing to the growth of roast and ground coffee. The pod market is really small though, worth just 3% of roast and ground.
It is tiny but in strong growth and therefore shouldn't be underestimated."
Ruth Willis Strategic planning manager,
Nestlé hot beverages
?"The tea market is declining, however what we are experiencing bucks the industry trend. Sales of Yorkshire Tea and - rather incredibly - loose leaf tea are growing. Our experience suggests that if the quality is there, people will buy it. We still stay true to the founding principles of buying the best,
and carefully blending to suit the water."
Jessica Ambler Sales and marketing manager, Yorkshire Tea
?"The key trend I see in hot beverages is that customers are looking for a wide range of high-quality drinks to choose from. Consumers seem to be moving away from the traditional eight cups of tea a day routine. Our customers seem to be choosing different drinks for different occasions and for different times of the day."
Michael Simpson Jones Buyer, Waitrose
?"Now that we are no longer part of Premier Foods, we can determine our own destiny. We are on our own now, and not distracted by things such as baked beans, which is a positive move. I have great expectations for the brand for the future."
Kelvin Williams Chief executive, Typhoo
?"It is difficult playing in a field dominated by tea and coffee where there are some very powerful, very profitable players, but I think we have a vital part to play. We're offering consumers a hot drink without any caffeine, which fulfils a valuable role in the market. Sleep is a key issue for many people and we've all heard about the negative effects of not getting enough of it. As a brand, Horlicks helps people to sleep better."
Laura Graham Assistant brand manager, Horlicks, GlaxoSmithKline