Tea for who?

Wednesday, 15 July, 2015

Tea for who?

Like an overshadowed younger sibling, sometimes tea is overlooked amongst the coffee hype. And its lowly status is undeserved, because almost as many Australians buy tea as coffee in an average four weeks, according to data released by Roy Morgan Research.

In the 12 months to March 2015, the proportion of Australians 14+ buying tea of any kind in an average four-week period was 42% — only slightly lower than the 45% who buy coffee. Regular tea is by far the most popular type, purchased by 35% of Australian consumers — well ahead of green tea (11%) and herb/fruit tea (8%).

Young Australians aged under 25 are the least likely to buy tea, with this tendency especially striking for regular tea, which is purchased by just 15% of Aussies under 25 compared with 54% of those aged 65+. The age-related trend is also evident for green and herbal/fruit varieties of tea.

The research also reveals that whether a person buys (and drinks) green, regular or herbal/fruit tea appears to be closely linked to their attitudes towards their dietary health in general.

For example, compared to the average Aussie, people who buy green tea are:

  • 51% more likely to agree that “I avoid dairy foods whenever possible”;
  • 57% more likely to agree that “The food I eat is all, or almost all, vegetarian”;
  • 49% more likely to agree that “I try to buy organic food whenever I can”.

Herbal/fruit tea shoppers are also well above average for these statements, as well as being:

  • 25% more likely than the average Aussie to agree that “I won’t buy genetically modified food if I can help it”;
  • 21% more likely to agree that “I restrict how much I eat of fattening foods”;
  • 20% more likely to agree that “I prefer to eat healthy snacks”.

Green tea buyers also exceed the national average for these attitude statements.

With the exception of the statements about vegetarian and dairy foods, Australians who buy regular tea also tend to be more likely than the average Australian to agree with these dietary attitudes. However, the difference is less marked than for those who buy green and/or herbal teas.

Angela Smith, group account director, Roy Morgan Research, says: “Regular tea remains the best-selling type by far, but the proportion of the population buying it in an average four weeks has declined slightly since 2010. Although it is still relatively niche, herbal/fruit tea is being purchased by a higher proportion of consumers than it was five years ago. The market for green tea has been stable since 2010.”

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