Canadian Vending

Features Consumer Behaviour Trends
More millennials drinking tea, according to FAO

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO,) tea consumption is on the rise. 

Factors such as health consciousness and trends towards all-natural or clean-label, beverages with herbal or medicinal qualities ranked high among millennial consumers.

The twenty-third Session of the Intergovernmental Group on Tea reports that in the last ten years, tea production has grown by an average annual rate of 4.4 percent. In the last decade, tea production has grown by an average annual rate of 4.4 percent, with China and Turkey registering the highest growth rate at 8 and 4 per cent, respectively.

The growing middle class in China is one of the factors that contribute to the growing market for tea, pre-bottled and chilled, pre-sweetened teas. At the same time, public interest in organic, locally sourced, specialized premium teas has also intensified. Innovation in vending and ready-to-drink versions of teas is a growing sales characteristic in young customers.


The FAO reports that “there is also growing interest in higher quality speciality teas with particular flavours…green, as well as herbal and fruit teas are gaining popularity in different markets, especially in Europe, owing to real or perceived health benefits. Innovation and “premiumization” are characterising a market, which attracts a
growing number of young customers and an emerging middle class.

The FAO report adds, “young people, representing a major and rapidly growing segment of the market, are continuously searching for personal experiences with fashionable products. This includes the integration of gourmet quality tea into their overall lifestyles. For some segments, tea demand has become a conspicuous form of consumption. Many enjoy specialty teas and show great interest in learning about a beverage that is consumed in the sophisticated environment of specialty tea shops or/and exclusive restaurants, hotels and cafés.”

The growing retail sector is also catering for new preferences by offering a range of teas from different origins, with a variety of different flavours, often coming in unusual combinations and customized varieties.

The FAO Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Tea represents a forum for intergovernmental consultation and exchange on trends in production, consumption, trade and prices of tea, including regular appraisal of the global market situation and short term outlook. The Group, under FAO auspices, considers changes in national policies and examines their international effects as pertaining to the current and prospective market situation.