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MARKET OVERVIEW

1.1 Presentation and definition of the market

Tea, with 1.5 billion cups drunk every day, is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world after water. First used in China, introduced to Japan in the late eighth century and an integral part of British culture, tea also has a special place in Middle Eastern cultures. This international nature of tea is reflected in the long list of countries in which tea is consumed.

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

Consumption habits differ from country to country. In France, tea is mostly consumed in bag. Black tea is consumed twice as much as green tea, despite a smaller increase of the latter. The most popular tea segments are those evoking the journey (Darjeeling, Ceylon).

In this study, we will look at the market for tea consumed at home as well as the market for tea consumed away from home. The tea market is growing rapidly around the world and is experiencing significant growth in France. The tea market in France accounted for 0.4% of the global market in 2018.

1.2 A fast-growing global market dominated by China

The world tea market was valued at **.*** billion in **** and forecasts predict it will continue to grow in the coming years, with a forecast average annual growth rate of *.**% over the period ****-****. As a result, the global tea market is expected to reach over $** billion in ****. 

World tea market World, ...

1.3 French market shows a more moderate growth

Tea is a widely consumed beverage in France, with * out of * French people declaring they drink it, bringing the average annual consumption to *** grams per person. Although tea consumption has tripled over the last ** years, France is still the **th global consumer [***].

In ****, sales of tea in supermarkets reached more than ...

ANALYSIS OF THE DEMAND

2.1 Tea consumption in France

Household consumption of non-alcoholic beverages

In ****, household consumption of non-alcoholic beverages (***) reached **.* billion euros, compared to **.* billion in ****, up **% over the last ten years. 

Consumption of non-alcoholic beverages France, ****-****, in billions of euros Source: ****

The value of household consumption of non-alcoholic beverages increased by *.*% in ****, *.*% in ****, and *.*% in ****. Growth is ...

2.2 Tea drinking behaviour

As mentioned above, tea is widely consumed in France. Nevertheless, different consumption behaviours can be distinguished according to a wide variety of criteria: frequency, type of tea, format..

By format

Tea bags are the most common type of tea in France, with over **.** million users in ****. However, the use of tea ...

2.3 Tea consumption outside the home

While tea is still primarily consumed at home (***), it is estimated that restaurants and tea rooms account for **% of tea consumption.

Places to drink tea France, ****, in % Source: ****

In terms of spending behaviour in tea shops (***). 

Average budget in a café or tea room France, ****, in euros Source: ****

2.4 Tea and well-being

Tea is widely associated with well-being and is often consumed for its various health-related virtues. In particular, tea tops the list of drinks considered "detox" by the French (***).

Favorite detox drinks France, ****, in % Source: ****

Where to buy detox drinks France, ****, in % Source: ****

MARKET STRUCTURE

3.1 A competitive market dominated by international players

The tea market is very competitive in France where the majority of large multinationals such as Unilever, Twinings or Douwe Egberts are established and offer wide and varied ranges of industrial tea.

As the graph below shows, tea is mainly sold by the big brands of international groups, which offer varied ...

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 an evergreen shrub that belongs to the Theaceae family and is grown mainly on the Asian continent.

The tea does not undergo any transformation, nevertheless its preparation requires several stages ...

3.3 Tea-related processing and trading activities

Tea and coffee processing

We consider here the data provided by INSEE for the activities recorded under the NAF **.**Z code " Tea and coffee processing". This activity has been experiencing a revival in recent years, with growth in the number of establishments and employees. In ****, there were *** tea and coffee processing ...

3.4 Different types of actors

Different types of players are present on the tea market in France. In particular, we can distinguish between:

National brands: these are mostly owned by large industrial groups specialising in mass distribution. Among the main brands are Lipton and Elephant, both owned by Unilever, or Twining and La Tisanière, members ...

ANALYSIS OF THE OFFER

4.1 A varied offer based on several types of tea

Green tea, which is less oxidized than black tea, is obtained using manufacturing methods that differ according to the place of production. In China, for example, large copper basins placed over a fire are used to heat the leaves, while in Japan the leaves are briefly steamed before being rolled (***).

Black ...

4.2 Price trends in the tea market

The course of the tea

Like any agricultural raw material, tea is subject to a globalized price logic that governs trade. We consider here the data provided by INSEE: the price of tea can be very variable and prices can thus fluctuate greatly from one month to another. At the beginning ...

4.3 A new and growing segment: refreshing tea drinks

In addition to tea itself, many tea-based beverages are entering the non-alcoholic beverage market. In France, the market for tea-based soft drinks reached nearly €*** million at the end of **** (***), not to mention Pepsico's Lipton Ice Tea and Coca Cola's Nestea or Honest Tea. This new segment is helping to get more ...

REGULATION

5.1 A poorly 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 commodities such as coffee, tea and chicory. This prohibits the sale of any plant other than the leaves and young ...

5.2 The EGAlim law

The EGAlim law, or Loi pour l'équilibre des relations commerciales dans le secteur agricole et une alimentation saine et durable, passed on October *, **** and enacted on October *, ****, is a new law that will be implemented in the next few years.

The objectives of this law are as follows:

Revive value ...

POSITIONING OF THE ACTORS

6.1 Segmentation

The tea houses

Brands of large industrial groups

Substitute products

Manufacturer of tea machines

6.2 Study of company websites

Traffic of the main e-commerce sites on the tea market France, **.**** - **.****, in thousands of visits (***) Source: ****

Web traffic of the main tea sites in France France, ****-****, in thousands of visits Source: ****

  • Kusmi tea (Orientis)
  • Mariage Frères
  • Le Palais des Thés
  • Pages Infusions
  • Les jardins de Gaïa MAKA
  • Herbissima
  • Thés de la Pagode
  • Les Comptoirs Richard
  • SCOP-TI
  • George Cannon
  • La Route des Comptoirs
  • La compagnie coloniale
  • Betjeman & Barton
  • Comptoir Francais du thé
  • Unilever
  • Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE Pets)
  • Lipton (Unilever)
  • Léa Nature
  • Ethiquable
  • Tetley
  • Twinings (FOODS INTERNATIONAL SAS)
  • Yogi Tea GmbH
  • La Tisanière
  • Les 2 Marmottes
  • Thés Éléphant (Scoop TI)
  • Nestlé Groupe

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Hugo S.

chargé d'études économiques, Xerfi

Hugo S.

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Mathieu Luinaud

Associate Consultant

Mathieu Luinaud

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Education Formation
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PhD Industrial transformations

Robin C.

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Pierre D.

Analyst

Pierre D.

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Arnaud W.
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Ross Alumni Club France

Arnaud W.

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Amaury de Balincourt
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Amaury de Balincourt

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Project Finance Analyst, Consulting

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Héloise Fruchard

Etudiante en Double-Diplôme Ingénieur-Manager Centrale

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EDHEC

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Market Research Analyst

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Consultant

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Emil Ohlsson

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Anna O.

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Gabriel S.

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