Mzansi sip on this, tea seems to be the breakout star in the latest trend predictions announced by social media network Pinterest who says “afternoon tea” is our new happy hour.
The two-year pandemic has worked in favour of the local tea industry notes SA Rooibos boss, Nicie Vorster. Food and beverage experts now predict that consumers are prioritising products that deliver “functional benefits to improve personal health and well-being.”
Vorster says that online searches for healthy teas, tea parings, parties and the like have seen a spike.
“It will be interesting to see how European consumers respond to Rooibos now that it has protected designation of origin (PDO) status.”
Vorster notes that consumers are increasingly concerned with the origin and quality of products they consume, and it’s no different for tea.
Pinterest’s predictions were based on the interests of their 444 million users worldwide with many choosing tea with a friend over drinks after work.
A tea of many firsts
Rooibos is the first African food product to receive PDO status from the EU, which identifies and links a product to a specific region, associating its quality and reputation to that area, which makes it a more sought-after product.
All Rooibos products now sold in Europe will hold the PDO boldly distinguishing it from other teas.
“Since consumers are likely to make tea a part of their everyday wellness routine for some time to come, we can expect to see more tea products being positioned as superfoods with added functional ingredients like probiotics, adaptogens and vitamins,” he says. “The tea industry is fast changing to adapt to the dynamics trends of the day, and we look forward to watching these take shape in grocery aisles and other sectors of the market this year.”
Tea trends that will dominate 2022
Wellness or adaptogenic teas are blended with a plant extract that is believed to fight the damaging effects of stress and inflammation, and promotes normal physiological functioning. Teas can be blended with chamomile, ginger, turmeric and ginseng. These super herbs not only enhance flavour but health benefits of your java too, notes Vorster.
Putting your own spin on it
Personalisation is huge, says Vorster. Being able to design your own tea by mixing different flavours for a unique taste and further personalising it by giving it a name, enables individuals to express themselves while satisfying their taste buds.
Ready to drink teas
RTD teas are gaining in popularity and are seen as healthier alternatives to canned or bottled fizzy drinks.
Certification and traceability
Certified sustainable tea is a must for a growing number of consumers for whom ethical tea sourcing, traceability and environmental sustainability are important.
Tea the experience
The emergence of tea pairing menus, as you would pair wine with different dishes, will also become more prominent and will attract new customers looking for a sensory experience.
Tea subscriptions are becoming more prevalent and it’s also a great way to retain and cultivate customer loyalty, which will become more critical than ever in a very competitive space,” adds Vorster.
Specialty and novelty teas are also becoming a popular gifting option in 2022. Tea is no longer a simple grocery item. High quality, premium tea has become a thing of sophisticated consumption.
Tea cocktails and mocktails
With the sober curios trend taking off and fewer people drinking alcohol during a night out, tea-based drinks are becoming a staple in trendy bars and pubs worldwide. “Tea makes for an ideal base ingredient and offers a much greater variety of options when it comes to mixing alcoholic and even non-alcoholic drinks.”
Speaking of cocktails and mocktails, why not try this recipe for a “tea-riffic” homemade Rooibos strawberry punch?
This tea is very refreshing and a healthier alternative to fizzy, sugary cold drinks. Keep a jug of this iced tea in the fridge to cool off as you countdown the last days of summer.
- 750ml strong, cold Rooibos
- 1litre apple juice
- 1litre granadilla/ passion fruit juice
- 1litre strawberry juice
- 2 bottles (750m leach) of sparkling red grape juice
- 1 punnet of strawberries, sliced
- 1 orange, sliced
- Fresh mint leaves