Other than a brief slump in 2008, when sales of refrigerated teas and coffee rose only 1.5%, the category has become a reliable success story for dairy departments. During the latest 52 weeks ending June 13, dollar sales of refrigerated teas rose 6.6%, topping $324 million in the supermarket channel. That’s after posting 4.8% growth in 2009 and 15.3% growth in 2007, according to SymphonyIRI.
Health and wellness trends continue to be one driver behind category growth. Green tea, in particular, continues to get lots of positive press for its cancer-preventing antioxidants, and several suppliers have responded by launching exciting new flavors of green tea in half-gallon cartons.