Ranked: Top 10 RTD Tea-Drinking Markets

The top 10 markets for the growing RTD tea preference is out! This data is ranked by USD million in retail value RSP and Million litres in retail volume for 2017.







1China          14,430.2     1 China               13,356.0
2Japan          13,432.3 Japan                 6,489.8
3USA            6,829.6 USA                 3,423.2
4Indonesia            1,397.2 Indonesia                 2,116.9
5Taiwan            1,342.9 Vietnam                 1,320.2
6Vietnam                944.7 Taiwan                 1,061.4
7Italy                586.8 Germany                     747.9
8Germany                498.7 Italy                     574.8
9Turkey                490.5 Thailand                     479.3
10Canada                486.310 Canada                     465.5

Source: Euromonitor International

RTD Tea in Asia Pacific

Asia is the centre of the global RTD Tea market, with three-fourths of worldwide sales. Things are changing in Asia, though, as the massive Chinese and Japanese markets reach maturity and the locus of growth shifts to Southeast Asia, where countries like Indonesia and Vietnam are seeing considerable growth as consumers respond favourably to the category’s ability to deliver on-the-go refreshment. Three quarters of all RTD tea globally is sold in Asia Pacific, but sales are not evenly distributed throughout the whole region: nearly all sales occur mainly in China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. As a result the category is much more highly developed here than elsewhere, with a  wide variety of brands, flavours and health-enhanced products not found elsewhere in the world.

Large fluctuations thanks to the performance in China

The outsize role of China can be seen in the category’s wild changes in annual growth during the review period. A sharp drop in the growth rates around 2012 can mostly be correlated to the woes of Tsing Hsin International Group, which ended a popular promotional campaign for its leading brand Master Kong, and was subject to a large-scale boycott because of rumours it was Japanese-controlled (anti-Japanese sentiment was high in China at the time, because of a diplomatic incident concerning the disputed Senkaku Islands). Although forecast growth should be level, the category remains vulnerable to shifts in consumer behaviour in China.

Growth is much stronger in newer markets such as Vietnam

Japan is still growing, but at a very slow rate, because of its maturity. In the long term Japan looks set to fade in prominence, as the category tends to  perform better amongst young people, which is an issue in one of the world’s most rapidly ageing societies. Indonesia and Vietnam are the countries that are now powering most volume growth in the category. Economic growth has created great demand for on-the-go beverages, and RTD tea has been successful in appealing to consumers looking for quick refreshment.

China’s time as growth driver is coming to an end

Whilst during the review period China was the source of about a third of total regional volume growth, premiumisation trends and substitution with other categories will turn volume growth negative in the large Chinese market. The torch will pass to Indonesia, which will be the largest source of volume growth during the forecast period. The rising popularity of the 350ml pack type has made the category more affordable, and triggered an upswing in growth. The increased share of this inexpensive pack type also means that unit prices are falling, and that volume growth will outpace value in Indonesia during the forecast period.