Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Flavored iced tea comes of age as trendy and healthy alternative to coffee!

There's a new craze sweeping America. These are flavored iced tea which are typically basic black tea that's jazzed with fruit or herbal infusions, and drank cold from tall glasses.

The ready-to-drink iced tea segment in the past 15 years has grown from $200 million to over $2 billion in annual sales, said Joe Simrany, president of the New York-based Tea Association of the U.S.A. It's the single largest segment of the tea industry, and it explains why iced tea makes up more than 85% of all tea sales, according to Simrany.

Health benefits attributed to tea are luring many people to cold tea drinks. Tea is considered an excellent source of immune system-building antioxidants.

As awareness grows, more consumers are insisting on better quality teas and are seeking out organic and Fair Trade blends.

The iced tea market is growing exponentially, analysts say, and is expected to continue its upward ascent in the years to come.

According to Simrany of the tea association, many consumers are re-evaluating their diets, and some who previously drank sugar- and calorie-laden juices or soft drinks are coming over to tea.

Green tea gets the most attention when it comes to touting health benefits, Simrany said. But that's because Asian scientists are the ones doing most of the research, and green tea is popular in Asia. Black tea has almost identical components, he said.

You get the sense there's a whole world of teas, just waiting to be iced.


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