This Type of Tea Is Getting More Popular Than Soda For The First Time Ever

Big news in the world of tea. 

The product category that includes ready to drink teas, flavored waters and sports drinks, soft drinks, pre-made coffee, energy drinks, fruit drinks and more is a very competitive space, with some of the world’s largest companies fighting for space in your belly.

One particular drink in this category saw greater growth than the soft drink market, and that’s ready-to-drink Tea, which grew in popularity by 3.1%, as opposed to the soft drink category which shrunk by -0.8%. Granted, “value-added water” grew by over 12%, but more on that in a minute…

Ready to drink tea

Now, of course, the market for soft drinks is still much bigger than that of RTD tea, but the tea category is growing more quickly, and starting to chip away some market share. Also, value-added water represents things like mineral waters, or waters with light flavoring added, and it’s only a matter of time until more people realize that tea is the ultimate “value-added water” and move away from artificial flavored water drinks and towards a natural tea.

“The U.S. liquid refreshment beverage market grew more quickly in 2016 than in 2015, which in turn saw acceleration over 2014’s growth,” according to New York-based Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), via World Tea News.

“The market’s (3.4 percent) performance was the strongest seen in several years,” elaborated the BMC. “Beverage–specific factors, such as the remarkable vibrancy of the sizeable bottled water segment, as well as more general ones, such as the continuing economic recovery, contributed to the overall increase in liquid refreshment beverage volume, which approached 33 billion gallons in 2016.”

World Tea News reports that Coke sells “nearly 4 million gallons” of their drink in a year, however the financial document they’re referencing states that coke sells quite a bit more than that, at 3,994.4… a figure that represents “millions of gallons”, and of course 4,000 is a lot more than 4. We tried to contact them via their website’s contact form to suggest the correction, however submitting the form caused a browser error so we’re including this note here so that none of our readers are confused.

Now just to run some napkin math on the idea that Coca-Cola only sells around 4 million gallons of product in a year, which is roughly 8 million 2L bottles sold in an entire year. And that doesn’t even account for cans, fountain drinks, 750ml bottles, or any of the other ways that people buy Coke.

Just for simplicity’s sake, let’s round up the US population generously to 400 million. That would mean that in the average year, 1 out of every 100 American citizens buys only 2L of Coke, one time. Of course, there’s a good chunk of the population who drink Coke daily, or at least weekly or every few months, and it’s a lot more than 1% of people.

StatisticBrain reports that 1.8 billion bottles of Coca-Cola are sold each day.

Anyways, we’re getting off topic here, but hopefully somebody sees this that can let World Tea News know.

And hopefully more and more people will wake up to the idea of tea as a versatile, all-day drink as more convenient options become available.

A Healthier Alternative

Ready to drink teas may or may not contain a lot of sugar, but there are some ways to make really easy iced tea at home, that have (almost) absolutely no sugar at all, and come in a ton of different flavors.