In 2010, more than 65 billion servings of tea, or 3 billion gallons, were consumed in the U.S., according to The Tea Association of the USA. That’s more than was downed in Canada, France or Italy. Because of its noted health benefits, green is the tea of choice, followed by black, while oolongs and whites represent a small part of the market, according to global industry intelligence firm Mintel. But don’t be surprised if herbal options with less caffeine eventually catch up.
Tea sales increased an impressive 35 percent to $1.5 million from May 2011 to May 2012, according to Schaumburg, Ill.-based market research company SPINS. New product launches blend tried-and-true favorites such as chai with more fruity flavors such as rooibos to encourage consumers to branch out.