The development of cafés and coffee houses selling their own fresh coffee brands has been over-whelming, ranging from the Starbucks brand through to long standing New Zealand café Robert Harris. However, there is a trend towards more specific hot drink boutiques specialising in the selling of beverage products. In late 2011, the first Nespresso boutique opened in New Zealand, specifically selling only Nespresso machines and pods, expanding to five outlets, including the first pop-up kiosk version, which opened in 2015 in a Westfield shopping mall in Auckland.
This has spurred other hot drink boutique outlets to follow suit due to the significant success of the Nespresso brand. For example, retail tea brand T2 from Australian company Tea Too expanded into the New Zealand market, launching its first store in 2014 and expanding to three outlets by 2016. In addition, Total Tea opened its first concept store in Auckland in 2015.
Although these boutique stores are considered niche and record lower volume sales compared with brands sold through the supermarket channel, they offer premium products and are innovative in terms of new flavours and blends, thus setting trends which are later followed by mainstream brands.
These boutique and concept stores are likely to continue to expand as the size of ethnic groups which are traditional tea drinkers, such as the Chinese, continues to grow, so too will demand for other types of tea, such as green tea, which is popular among Asian consumers, and chai tea, which is popular among Indian consumers.