Some like it hot
Consumers’ taste for higher-value, indulgent options has permeated hot beverages, and there's no surprises to find that health and wellness has also become a driving force.
12 September 2008 | 0
At a glance: hot beverages
- Standard formats continue to characterise the industry, with black standard tea and instant coffee accounting for the vast majority of total off-trade volumes in 2007
- The Irish soluble coffee market is worth €49 million and has grown 5.4% in the last year
- Nescafé leads soluble coffee with 49.9% overall share, dominating three out of four instant coffee sectors (55% share in granules, 56% in premium and 65% in café style)
- Irish consumers drink 190 cups, on average, of instant coffee per capita per year
- Lyons’ Kenyan tea plantation was the first in the world to earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal
- Ethical brands, including private label, are driving growth and dynamism in the hot beverage market
- Fairtrade products in Ireland show significant growth potential, with recent figur es indicating that sales reached €23.3 million in 2007, up from €11.5 million the previous year
As is the case across many grocery categories, consumers have been shifting towards higher-value and indulgent hot beverage options, according to a report published by Euromonitor this March. Sales of premium positioned ground coffee, specialty tea and hot chocolate continued to drive value growth in 2007, and the extra spending on premium lines compensated for stagnant volume growth in other areas. Coffee brands are expected to shift focus further into other instant speciality varieties such as mocha and latte over the forecast period, as consumers become more accustomed to speciality coffee blends.
Health and wellness has also played a part in reinvigorating the hot beverage sector. Decaffeinated tea and coffee “performed well” according to the Euromonitor report, as brands focussed on developing
and marketing decaffeinated blends that compared in taste and quality to regular tea and coffee. Similarly, sales of green tea and fruit/herbal tea grew strongly, emphasising their detoxing, relaxing or energising properties. Green tea especially remained popular in both its regular and decaffeinated varieties, as there is still general widespread reference to its health benefits, including speeding up metabolism.
Irish brands continue to perform well at home, such as Barry’s Tea within the tea segment, and tea and coffee brand Bewley’s in fresh coffee. However, some multinationals are attempting to appeal to other nationalities in Ireland, as demonstrated by Unilever’s launch in Ireland of Poland’s favourite tea, Saga, earlier this year.
Finally, the Euromonitor report claimed that standard formats of tea and coffee products are “faltering” in the face of growing consumer preferences for variety and innovation. Instant standard coffee registered the slowest value growth of any coffee category over the review period, and similarly, sales of green and fruit/herbal tea by far outpaced black standard tea bags in terms of growth over the last five years. In spite of this, standard formats continue to characterise the industry, with black standard tea accounting for the vast majority of total off-trade tea volumes in 2007, and instant coffee continuing to represent the bulk of total off-trade coffee volumes.
Tea-totallers leading the way towards sustainability
Lyons Tea, Ireland’s number one tea brand, has announced its partnership with the independent international conservation organisation, Rainforest Alliance, as part of its commitment to its sustainability programme. Lyons’ Kenyan tea plantation was the first in the world to earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal, proving that it meets comprehensive environmental and social standards. Half of the supply for Lyons Tea Original Blend tea bags in Ireland now comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified plantations. Under Unilever’s current commitments, the tea used in Lyons Original Blend will be fully Rainforest Alliance Certified by 2010 and by 2012, all Lyons Tea will only come from farms that meet their standards.
To support the launch, Lyons Tea is investing in a through the line communications programme including television advertising, press, outdoor and transport media, PR, digital and sampling activity. In addition, Lyons Tea plans to build awareness of the Rainforest Alliance and what certification means through a below the line education and awareness campaign. Consumers can learn more by taking an interactive tour through the Kericho plantation on the brand’s website (www.lyonstea.ie), and additionally, sampling activity at Electric Picnic and the National Ploughing Championships highlighted to consumers that their favourite tea still tastes the same.
Barry’s Tea targets youth
Barry’s Tea has launched a new marketing strategy targeting the under 35 year old market. To increase its existing popularity with this influential group, the brand has embarked on a series of PR, advertising and online activities that aims to reinforce emotional connections with Barry’s Tea drinkers within the demographic.
Presence on online social network sites including Facebook and Youtube, combined with a fresher, more modern packaging design and an extensive PR campaign, will roll out to engage the under 35s. Barry’s Tea kicked off its new marketing with its interactive, retro-styled ‘Tea Party’ at the Taste of Dublin festival.
Camille O’Flanagan from Barry’s Tea said: “The Irish nation has a really strong affinity with tea and the relationship starts early so we want to make sure we are top of mind with today’s younger tea-drinking generation. The audience already has an emotional link with the brand evident by the amount of tea posted to Irish travellers abroad. Barry’s Tea is also traditionally called on first thing in the morning at festivals – its these touch points that reinforce the relevance of the brand to this audience.”
Traditional Irish brand spends big on new image
Long standing Irish brand Bewley’s is currently in the process of rolling out a €4 million investment in marketing and innovation in retail and foodservice, which kicked off in May 2008 with new retail tea packing and a sampling and press advertising campaign. The new Bewley’s Tea range offers the classic Bewley’s Green Blend, the signature award-winning Bewley’s Gold Blend and two new blends, Bewley’s Special Reserve Fairtrade and Bewley’s Decaf.
All four blends now come in stylish colourful, tea-caddy packs, inspired by Harry Clarke stained-glass windows in Bewley’s Café Grafton Street. Nicely punctuating the brand’s revamp, Bewley’s tea and coffee range recently won six gold medals at the Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards in the UK, demonstrating that its taste remains as good as ever.
Ethical tea is a taste winner
Under the Teadirect brand, Cafédirect has recently launched Teadirect Gold in Ireland, a premium aromatic, deeply layered blend of tea from Kenya, Rwanda and India. Teadirect Gold was recently victorious at the Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards, along with Cafédirect’s Organic Medium Roast, Kilimanjaro gourmet, and Machu Picchu Organic gourmet fresh ground coffees, which all scooped one Gold Star. With the rise of ethical brands including private label, the hot beverage category within the retail market continues to be dynamic. Indeed the market for fairtrade products in Ireland is showing significant growth potential with recent figures indicating that retail sales reached €23.3 million in 2007, up from €11.5 million in the previous year.
Local company wins big abroad
Orgapod from Dublin is celebrating after winning a prestigious Great Taste Award from the UK Guild of Fine Food, the much-desired Gold Star, for its organic Oriental Chai. Orgapod 100% organic Oriental Chai is a unique blend of exotic spices and rich, black Vietnamese tea sourced from the small provincial village of Suoi bu in the Yen Bai Province of Vietnam. All product blending and packing is carried out at regularly inspected organic certified and BRC (British Retail Consortium) accredited premises to insure a premium quality end product. Naturally high in antioxidants, Orgapod Oriental Chai offers great taste and aroma, and an energetic lift.
The 100% organic spice company, Orgapod Limited, is a modern Irish-owned company that specializes in the selection and blending of the finest quality organic spices and teas sourced from around the world. Currently the company produces a range of spice mixes and specialty teas, including Orgapod Chai, which are all authentic, free from harmful pesticides and additives, and packaged carefully to deliver an upmarket and trendy finished product. Orgapod products are presently sold in select specialty food outlets, supermarkets and health stores across Ireland.
Ireland’s leading soluble coffee brand
The Irish soluble coffee market is worth €49 million and has grown 5.4% in the last year (MAT June 08 v’s 07, Source: AC Nielsen). Nescafé leads the market with an overall market share of 49.9% and dominates three out of the four instant coffee sectors with 55% share in granules, 56% share in premium, and 65% share in café style. Growth potential remains strong, according to Nescafé, who report that Irish consumers drink 190 cups, on average, of instant coffee per capita per year.
Nescafé Original is a cornerstone of the brand’s portfolio, supported above the line with its ‘Become a Morning Person’ television and outdoor campaign, and sponsorship of the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on Today FM. Nescafé Gold Blend is the leading brand within the premium sector and its hugely successful ‘Coffee Lovers’ Coffee television campaign attained broad recognition for the brand.
For more discerning coffee tastes, Nescafé offers the Connoisseur Collection comprising Alta Rica, Cap Colombie, Espresso, Black Gold, and Blend 37, and the company anticipates that the premium sector is set for more growth as consumers try out new tastes and blends. Nescafé continues to drive innovation in this sector with two new premium coffee offerings; Café Parisien, a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans blended in France, and Nescafé Suraya, made with 100% Arabica beans from the highlands of Sumatra.
Finally, for those wishing to experience café culture in their own homes, Nescafé has its range of speciality coffees, including Cappuccino, Latte, Mocha and the recently launched Cappuccino Skinny and Latte Skinny, with only 58 calories and 83 calories respectively per serve.
A synonym for coffee in Ireland
As part of its €4 million investment in marketing and innovation, Bewley’s is also focussing on its coffee ranges across the retail and foodservice channels. The name of Bewley’s has become synonymous with coffee in Ireland, thanks to its revered cafés, and so is known for sourcing and blending the finest fresh coffee. The Café Blend range allows consumers to enjoy at home the expertly crafted blends that have been enjoyed in Bewley’s Café on Grafton Street since 1927. Bewley’s master blender expertly roasts outstanding single-origin coffees for the Explore range providing supreme quality, sophisticated aromas and a deeply satisfying taste. The six gold medals won by Bewley’s at the recent Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards in the UK, are a testament to that quality.
Cafédirect hot on taste with enhanced flavour Classic Blend
Building on its strong taste credentials, Fairtrade brand Cafédirect is re-launching Classic Blend freeze dried instant coffee with a new improved flavour. Carrying a ‘Best Ever Taste’ flash on the front of pack, the new blend is described as smooth and full-bodied with subtle hints of caramel sweetness. Classic Blend will be available to Irish retailers from mid September with an RSP of €4.00 for a 100g jar.
“We know from our research that consumers of hot drinks are first and foremost driven by taste”, says Georgiou, business co-ordinator Ireland, Cafédirect. “We are very excited about driving quality in the sector with the new taste of Classic Blend”.
Cafédirect is the only 100% Fairtrade hot beverages company operating in Ireland and has an extensive product range including premium instant coffees, award-winning fresh ground coffees, Cocodirect drinking chocolate and Teadirect tea.
Cafédirect’s Organic Medium Roast, Kilimanjaro gourmet, and Machu Picchu Organic gourmet fresh ground coffees, both scooped one Gold Star at this year’s Great Taste Awards.
As a leader in the Fairtrade hot beverage category, Cafédirect is firmly focused on raising the bar on taste as well as ethics. “We are committed to growing the category through innovation and offering the best possible tasting products. By nurturing the skills of our coffee growers through our Producer Partnership Programme we receive the highest quality beans, says Alex Georgiou.
Number one at home and abroad
Lavazza roast and ground coffee, from the world’s leading premium roast and ground espresso coffee company, is now Ireland’s favorite premium roast and ground coffee brand also (Nielsen Multiple Scantrack 2008 ). Lavazza is now available in over 90 countries, where it employs over 2,000 people.
Over time, the company’s insistence on using only the finest raw materials has served it well. The Lavazza Company, the name of which has become synonymous with premium espresso coffee and innovation, is a pioneer of vacuum packing technology which dramatically improves the freshness and ultimate taste delivery of its category leading coffee blends. Consequently, consumers can recreate that unique Italian coffee shop taste experience at home.
Lavazza premium roast and ground coffees consistently drive year on year value growth in the coffee category, with its range that is suitable for all coffee makers and cafetieres. Lavazza retail packs available include Lavazza Rossa 250g, Lavazza Café Espresso 250g, Lavazza Oro 250g , Lavazza Crema e Gusto, and Lavazza Espresso Coffee Beans 250g .
Spoilt for choice
Piacetto Espresso is a premium Italian coffee brand, developed by Italian barista champion and coffee sommelier Graziano Chessa. The special blend of beans used in the coffee deliver a dark roasted experience. The gentle South American Arabic bean combined with the invigorating Indian Robusta bean delivers a full flavour taste even through milky lattes and cappuccinos. The delicious coffee would not be out of place in a five star hotel, says the coffee maker, who believes customers will be spoilt with the unique Piacetto blends, slow-roasted for an intensive espresso taste.
‘Share our passion’ says Java Republic
Java Republic’s ‘Kaffa Waaqa’ took the coveted double Gold Star at this year’s International Great Taste Awards. The brand’s Kaffa Waaqa Espresso Blend was awarded the two-star Gold Medal for quality and excellence having withstood what is thought to be the most rigorous judging and blind-tasting in the UK and Ireland.
“Winning a gold medal for the Kaffa Waaqa blend is particularly great for us as there is quite a story behind its development. Made up of 40% wild and earthy Ethiopian coffee Kaffa Waaqa, which means ‘Coffee God’ in Ethiopia’s Oromian language, was developed after I visited coffee plantations in Ethiopia. I came back determined to increase trade with Ethiopia, making a difference to the lives of our farmers,” said David McKernan, founder of Java Republic.
Coca-Cola to move into tea territory
According to various reports, the new chief executive officer of Coca-Cola, Muhtar Kent, is expected to begin his new job by sealing a number of acquisitions for the global brand. Having taken up the position of CEO at the beginning of July, Kent has said that bottled water and tea brands will be increasingly important to the company going forward, and would influence future purchases. “You will see us grow organically as well as through targeted acquisitions,” Kent said in relation to his plans for the soft drink giant.
Although Kent failed to specify any particular targets or markets the company would look to enter, the report suggested that it would make smaller purchases on a country-to-country basis.Tea with its myriad health credentials and variants is attracting a younger demographic these days, paving the way for new possibilities for drinks companies. Right on trend, Nestle and Japanese drink-maker Suntory are reportedly set to collaborate on a green tea based drink for the US market, which they anticipate could open up a lucrative market for them.