The survey of 1,700 registered US dietitians, conducted by Pollock Communications, drilled into the top 10 superfoods of 2017 and among these was green tea. However, other teas made from whole leaves and other natural ingredients are expected to perform well in the new year as well.
“The beverage category has grown exponentially and tea is set to experience a lot of growth moving into 2017 and 2018,” president of Pollock Communications, Louise Pollock, told BeverageDaily.
According to MarketWatch, the global tea market is expected to reach $21.33bn in 2024, up from $14.45bn in 2016, registering a CAGR of 5% with black tea and green tea expected to experience the most significant growth rates.
Ready-to-drink tea products, particularly green tea, are at the forefront of this growth as they fit squarely into the time-crunched but health-seeking lifestyle.
“There’s a lot of innovation in the tea category,” Pollock said. “Millennials are open to many new flavors, many new different types of tea. They embrace green tea and the various flavors that enhance green tea."
Major tea players like Nestea are looking to capitalize on this trend with its new cleaner brand image and the launch of its "real brewed line," featuring a slightly sweetened USDA certified organic green tea in portable PET bottle.
- Seeds (ie chia & hemp)
- Nuts (ie almonds, walnuts)
- Fermented foods (ie yogurt)
- Ancient grains
- Green tea
- Coconut products
- Exotic fruits
Source: What's Trending in Nutrition survey
Matcha, the concentrated green tea powder, is also expected to grow with the growing demand for health-promoting beverages.
Tree-waters climb in the ranks
Along with tea, plant waters have a large opportunity for growth in 2017 and beyond as consumers take on more active lifestyles and want a health alternative to regular water to stay hydrated.
“Americans are so on the go all the time, we’re moving from place to place, we’re commuters, people are taking their kids to soccer,” Pollock said.
“The growth of water is pushed by this trend for people to want to be hydrated, but also drink something that is and tastes natural.”