A recent survey by marketing intelligence agency Mintel reveals that 49% of people in the UK agree that tea is better than alcohol, and 55% of millennials (26-41-year-olds) said they are likely to choose a cup of tea over alcohol.
Wanting to live healthier and the high cost of living were given as the main reasons for this.
In South Africa, consumers are feeling the pinch of high inflation and this makes good-quality tea more appealing.
“Across the globe, Millennials are going semi-sober and embracing wellness more than any other generation," says Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council (SARC).
Forbes Magazine recently reported that bars and nightclubs across the US, UK and Europe are struggling financially. In the US, over 10 000 bars have shut down in the last few years and 6 500 nightclubs have either had to cut back on their hours or close up shop entirely.
On the whole, Millennials prefer to drink in moderation rather than recklessly, with a big focus on health and well-being. Wild nights of boozing at pubs and clubs are being replaced by “juice crawls”, morning exercise classes and other wholesome activities.”
According to reports, global sales of booze are down among Millennials, who are ditching alcohol for tea. Du Toit says alcohol moderation trends represent potential areas of growth for tea/tisanes in the longer term.
“The quest for affordable luxuries coupled with the boom in health and foodie culture has already seen vast changes in the tea industry. Even in supermarkets, the shelf space dedicated to standard tea products has shrunk, making way for a larger range of speciality teas and tisanes/herbal infusions that offer new experiences for discerning tea drinkers.” She says there has been a definite shift in the demographic buying Rooibos with an increased interest in and demand from the youth.
“Last year, Rooibos was voted among the country’s favourite hot beverages in the 2022 Sunday Times GenNext Survey, in which more than 6 000 youth named their coolest products. Given the wide range of beverage options that the youth of today can choose from, the accolade speaks volumes.
“I think the youth enjoy the versatility of Rooibos. They can drink it hot or cold, as a cappuccino, espresso, cocktail or mocktail.
“Innovative marketers have also launched energy drinks and a plethora of health and immune-boosting shots containing concentrated Rooibos. The tisane can also be used in smoothies, iced- or bubble tea and is available in more than 100 different blends.
“Functional food and beverages continue to be prioritised among Millennials, which makes Rooibos a natural choice given that it’s caffeine-free, low in tannins and packed with antioxidants.”
On the basis of price, tea, is also much more affordably than most drinks. At between 45c and 55c for a cup of Rooibos, it starts making economical sense too.