Coca-Cola Cos Fuze iced-tea campaign featured Mr T

Coca-Cola Co's Fuze iced-tea campaign featured Mr T

Global iced tea consumption is expected to reach around 37bn litres this year, according to new research.

Canadean's ‘Soft Drinks Market Insights' report stated that the US consumes nearly 3bn litres more iced/RTD tea than all of Europe, second globally only to China. The research also shows that health and wellness trends in the US and Western Europe are helping to drive the category.

Canadean said: "The natural image of iced/rtd tea drinks lends itself as a good non-carbonated lower sugar product as many consumers shift from traditional carbonates. For this reason, many of the larger iced tea players in Europe and North America have launched reduced sugar variants, such as Gold Peak (Coca-Cola)."

According to the report, Lipton (Unilever), Arizona (Ferolito, Vultaggio), and Nestea (Nestlé) remain the largest brands in North America and Europe. The most popular flavours in the category include lemon, plain tea, and peach. But Canadean said there are many new launches, including lime, orange/mango and 'yumberry'.  

"Increasing numbers of unsweetened, organic, and diet variants have been observed, in response to the influx of consumers searching for healthier alternatives," added Canadean.

Asian-inspired flavours such as ginseng, matcha and hibiscus are helping to build the health and wellness message, while bringing the antioxidant and cleansing properties of tea to the forefront of brand marketing is also popular.

Cold-brew products are driving the craft trend. 

Canadean said: "Traditional peach and lemon flavours remain firm iced tea favourites, and the traditional international companies making them remain the driving force for the category's global growth. Niche brands and products are addressing the demand for increasingly healthier drinks, though ‘normal’ iced/rtd tea drinks continue to tick the health box enough for many consumers."

Last month, Canadean highlighted the growth of coconut water