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By: Alice Yu

    New Zealand consumers continue to respond positively to tea and ready to drink (RTD) products driven by growing awareness of the natural health properties of tea, changing demographics, and a concerted push by manufacturers to grow the market.

    Modern communications technologies have allowed unimpeded access to information by consumers. Accordingly, consumers have become increasingly aware through various media of the inherent health and wellness attributes and qualities of tea. With consumer preferences trending towards health and wellness products due to changing lifestyle choices, tea has benefited from positive associations. There was growth in the Asian immigrant population, particularly in the Auckland region. With green tea in particular a popular beverage among Chinese immigrants, the growth in sales to immigrants has increased consumer demand for these products. Finally, Unilever New Zealand has helped to grow the market for NH RTD tea through its Lipton Ice Tea brand, with increasing engagement with consumers through social media and its marketing campaign associating the brand with summer by virtue of its sponsorship of a number of popular summer music festivals.

    Outlook

    NH RTD tea and NH RTD green tea is expected to continue growing as consumer demand increasingly turns to these products from substitute goods such as carbonates and consumers increasingly focus on health and wellness trends when making their purchasing decisions. The extensive promotional and marketing activities from the major players are expected to continue, with the major brands expected to continue to associate their brands with summer.

    NH fruit/herbal tea is expected to be a focus area for product development. With growing consumer demand for NH tea products, NH fruit/herbal tea represents a major area for growth. NH tea is also expected to be an area for growth for private label lines.

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