As Americans become more health conscious, they continue to shun sugary carbonated beverages and turn more often to alternative drinks – such as tea. That is one of the reasons for the steady growth in sales of both loose and bagged tea, as well as canned and bottled ready to drink teas known as RTDs.

Celestial Seasonings packaging line at their Boulder, Colorado plant.


I look forward every year to the July edition of Beverage Industry magazine because it contains statistics on what Americans are drinking and what companies are supplying the most beverages in categories such as wine, beer, water, coffee, spirits and tea.

Here is a chart compiled by Information Resources Inc. (Chicago) which shines light on USA tea sales for the 52 weeks ending April 20, 2014.

TOP LOOSE-LEAF TEAS AND TEA BAGS

Market Share  Company               Dollar Sales             %Growth

21.7%             Lipton                      $278,873,000            4.5

9.2%               Bigelow                   $117,893,800            -0.8    

7.9%               Twinings                 $101,681,800           15.7

5.0%               Luzianne                 $64,664,300              4.7

4.1                  Celestial Sea           $52,302,720              5.1

2.9                   Tazo                        $37,758,590             1.7

2.4                   Keurig                     $31,093,650           -13.1

2.3                   Stash                      $30,034,700            1.6

2.3                   Tetley                     $29,554,930            -0.2

These statistics do not include the hundreds of smaller specialty tea purveyors who have sprung up across America over the past 25 years, such as Teavana, Harney, Adagio, The Republic of Tea, etc. Sales by those gourmet tea packagers are also rising with the tide. I’ve witnessed this scenario firsthand because I’ve owned one of those smaller tea companies for over two decades.

And who are the top five RTD tea producers in America?

In order, they are 1. Arizona, 2. Lipton, 3. Snapple, 4. Gold Peak (Coca-Cola) and 5. Pure Leaf (Pepsi.)

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