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1.1 Presentation and market definition

Tea, with 1.5 billion cups drunk every day, is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water. Established in China, introduced to Japan at the end of the 8th century and an integral part of British culture, tea also has a special place in Middle Eastern cultures. This global character of tea is reflected in the long list of countries in which tea is consumed.

Tea is a drink obtained from the leaves of the tea plant (about 200 species), infused in hot water. The types of teas are segmented by their colours (black, green, Oolong, yellow, white and post-fermented) which differ according to the treatment of the harvested leaves. Rooibos or "red tea" is actually an infusion obtained from the leaves of Aspalathus linearis, which is only found in South Africa, and not from the tea plant.

Consumption patterns differ from country to country. In France, tea is mostly consumed in sachets. Black tea is consumed twice as much as green tea, despite less growth. The most popular tea segments are those evoking travel (Darjeeling, Ceylon).

In this study, we will focus on the tea market consumed at home as well as the market consumed outside of home. The tea market is growing rapidly worldwide and is growing significantly in France -  where in 2018 it represented 0.4% of the world market.

1.2 A fast-growing global market dominated by China

The world tea market had a turnover of *** billion euros in **** (***) for *.* million tonnes sold .
World tea production
Tea exporting countries are relatively few in number and production is largely concentrated in China, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Nevertheless, production is very important at approximately *.** million tonnes according to Statista. ...

1.3 The French market is growing more moderately

Estimates of the turnover generated by the tea market in France are numerous and differ substantially. The figures proposed by Statista report a contract for *** million euros in France in **** separated between *** million euros consumed outside the home and *** million euros consumed at home . Over the period ****-****, the tea market ...


2.1 La consommation de thé en France

Consommation des ménages en boissons non alcoolisées
En ****, la consommation des ménages en boissons non alcoolisées (***).
Consommation en boissons non alcoolisées France, ****-****, en milliards d'euros Sources : INSEE, Tableaux de l’économie française **** ; OCDE Stats

La consommation des ménages en boissons non alcoolisées ...

2.2 Tea attracts new consumer profiles

In France, however, there is a renewed interest for tea consumption, especially among younger and more urban consumers (***). This is mainly due to the trend of "healthy" consumption, which highlights the health benefits of tea for consumers
Tea contains antioxidants beneficial for the body's cells and for the prevention of cardiovascular ...

2.3 Fair trade and organic farming in full expansion

In France, responsible, ethical and sustainable consumption is booming due to consumer awareness and growing interest in the origin of products and their manufacturing conditions. The turnover of the products labelled "responsible" products has thus increased by **% in **** (***). The consumption habits of the French have significantly changed, benefiting in particular ethical ...

2.4 Le thé et le bien-être

Le thé est très largement associé au bien-être et souvent consommé pour ses différentes vertus liées à la santé. En particulier, le thé arrive en tête des boissons considérées comme "détox" par les Français (***). 
Boissons détox préférées France, ****, en ...


3.1 A competitive market dominated by international players

The tea market is very competitive in France where most of the major multinationals such as Unilever, Twinings or Douwe Egberts are established and offer a wide and varied range of industrial teas
As the graph below shows, tea is mainly sold by the major brands of international groups, which offer ...

3.2 Mainly Asian production

Tea is a drink obtained from the leaves of the tea plant, infused in very hot water. The tea plant is a persistent shrub that belongs to the Theaceae family and is grown mainly on the Asian continent.
Tea is not processed, but its preparation requires several steps usually carried out ...

3.3 Les activités liées au thé en France

Transformation du thé et du café
On considère ici les données fournies par l'INSEE pour l'activité **.**Z "Transformation du thé et du café". Cette activité connaît un regain de dynamisme depuis quelques années, avec une croissance du nombre d'établissements et des effectifs associés. En ****, on ...

3.4 Différents types d'acteurs

DIfférents types d'acteurs sont présents sur le marché du thé en France. On peut ainsi notamment distinguer : 
Les marques nationales : elles appartiennent la plupart du temps à de grands groupes industriels spécialisés dans la grande distribution. Parmi les marques principales, on peut ainsi citer Lipton et Elephant, appartenant ...


4.1 A varied offer based on several types of teas

Green tea, less oxidized than black tea, is obtained according to manufacturing methods that differ according to the place of production . For example, in China, large copper basins placed on a fire are used to heat the leaves, while in Japan, the leaves are briefly steam heated before being rolled (***).
Black ...

4.2 The price of tea is globalized

The sharp rise in the price of Darjeeling tea, caused by a conflict that led to the loss of **% of the harvest in the Indian Darjeeling tea growing region, has led to a significant increase in the price of Darjeeling tea price increase of approximately **% of tea in **** after a decline ...

4.3 A new and growing segment: tea-based soft drinks

In addition to the tea itself, many tea-based drinks are entering the non-alcoholic beverage market . The size of the global tea beverage market is expected to reach more than US$** billion by ****, according to Statista. All the major players are trying to make a place for themselves on this booming market ...


5.1 A lightly regulated market

According to the Tea Union there are three regulations governing the tea market in France
The first is the decree of * October **** on the repression of fraud in the sale of foodstuffs such as coffee, tea and chicory. This prohibits the sale under the name of "tea" of any plant other ...

5.2 La loi EGAlim

La loi EGAlim, ou Loi pour l’équilibre des relations commerciales dans le secteur agricole et une alimentation saine et durable, votée le * octobre **** et promulguée le *er novembre ****.
Les objectifs de cette loi sont les suivants :
Relancer la création de valeur dans l’agriculture et l’agro-alimentaire ...


6.1 Segmentation

Major international groups leaders in the tea market
Unilever Lipton Twinings Douwe Egberts Tetley
Specialized companies and high-end tea specialists:
Yogi Tea Kusmi Tea Garden of Gaia George Cannon The tea palace Marriage Brothers Betjeman and Barton French tea counter Infusion pages

  • Lipton
  • Twinings
  • Kusmi tea (appartient au groupe Orientis)
  • Les jardins de Gaïa
  • Georges Cannon
  • Mariage Frères
  • Betjeman & Barton
  • Comptoir Francais du thé
  • Pages Infusions
  • Yogi Tea
  • Tetley
  • Douwe Egberts
  • Unilever
  • Georges Cannon

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