There are few things considered more quintessentially British than a nice cup of tea. But that seems to be changing, as sales of tea bags have plummeted, according to a recent report in The Telegraph. The December 17 report cited new figures indicating that the volume of tea sales had fallen by more than 6 percent in the past 12 months, almost double the decline of the previous year. Industry magazine The Grocer said sales of Tetley Round tea bags were down 17.3 per cent in the past year, while PG Tips Pyramid sales were 6.4 per cent lower.
The falling rates of tea bag sales have been attributed primarily to the rising popularity of coffee chains and espresso bars, as well as the increased popularity of at-home coffee preparations and machines. Experts also noted that many people are switching from traditional black tea to other teas, such as green tea or herbal infusions. Coffee products, however, are flying off the shelves faster than ever, as the report noted that sales of supermarket products such as Nescafe have increased by more than 6.3 per cent.
Coffee is apparently becoming the preferred drink while dining out, as well as at home, according to Nigel Travis, chief executive of Dunkin Brands, owner of Dunkin Donuts. “If you look over the past year, coffee sales in restaurants are about two-and-half-times higher than tea,” he said.
Britain as a nation of coffee drinkers? It seems to be heading that way. And we’ll certainly drink to that.
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