From February 15-17, Mumbai was host to The World Tea & Coffee Expo 2013, which featured over 100 exhibitors from eight countries and highlighted the tremendous potential of the Hot Beverages sector – both in India and globally. Internationally, the market for Ready to Drink (RTD) tea is expected to reach $125 billion by 2017 compared with $69 billion in 2011 (estimated), signaling an anticipated annual growth of 10.9% between 2012 and 2017.
Supporting this event were a variety of trade bodies, such as the Tea Board of India, Federation of All Indian Tea Traders Association (FAITTA), Bombay Tea Traders Association (BTTA), India China Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Small & Medium Business Development Chamber of India, Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers Associations (CISTA), and Darjeeling Tea Association.
The top two tea-producing nations – China and India – collectively produce about 60% of the total global tea output. India is the second-largest tea producer and consumer after China and fourth largest tea exporter after Kenya, China, and Sri Lanka.
Wider health awareness, busy lifestyles, and an increase in disposable income are encouraging consumers to opt for RTD tea and coffee. In spite of the deteriorating global economic climate over the last few years, the Hot Beverage sector has remained resilient, as improvements in transportation and the extension of the shelf life of products along with continued product innovation and aggressive marketing initiatives have contributed to the growth of this industry.
During 2011, India’s per capita tea consumption stood at 711 grams per head. However, this is considerably lower than in other tea-drinking nations, such as in Ireland (3 kg), in the U.K., Turkey, and Iraq (more than 2 kg), and in Sri Lanka and Pakistan (more than 1 kg). This signifies remarkable potential in domestic tea consumption.