According to the Tea and Herbal Infusion Union, the total turnover of the market was 251.2 million euros, with growth of 2.7% in 2016. 2 out of 3 French people drink tea, making tea the second most consumed drink after water. France is the 30th largest consumer country in the world, with an average of 15,000 tonnes of tea imported per year.
Most tea is consumed in teabags and most consumers are located in Ile de France and in the west of the country. Black tea is, according to the Union, consumed twice as much as green tea (5.2 million tonnes in 2010 against 2.6 million tonnes for green tea) but its evolution is less significant. In general, the most popular tea selections are those that recall a journey, such as Derjeeling or Ceylon tea.
The market is very competitive, the key to entry is the variety of product ranges. Large multinationals such as Unilever, Twinings and Douwe Egberts are well established in France. They still account for around 80% of industrial tea sales and tea bags. They are working hard to innovate and diversify in order to keep their market share and remove competetition with specialized chains.
The main development in recent years has been that of specialised tea chains. These represent more than 20% of sales in France and show a growth of 10% per year according to LSA review. The main tea houses are Le Palais des thé, Mariage frères, Betjeman and Barton, Comptoir français du thé, Jardins de Gaïa, George Cannon, Kusmi Tea, Lov Organic and Kusmi Tea.
The main challenge for the EU is the fight against counterfeiting and poor quality. As the EU does not produce tea, it imports it without customs duties or specific standards outside food safety and labelling regulations. The market is thus completely liberalised. Another issue is that it would seem tea sales have fallen slightly in the last 2 or 3 years, in favor of an increase in tea infusion sales.
Our business reports in France and in EuropeDownload an example
Our business reports worldwideDownload an example