Is Tea the new Coffee?!

Published: 6 November 2013

I have recently returned from a trip to the USA and it’s always fascinating to see what retailers are doing on the other side of the pond.

There is usually one real “nugget” of an idea I can find which I endeavour to pass on to clients.

This trip however I was struck by two trends that seem to be sweeping America - and both involve drink! (yes I know, many of you will not be surprised to hear I latched onto this area of retail!)

The first was the popularity of micro-breweries producing real ales. I visited five different states and the variety and range of local brews was outstanding (as well as enjoyable!)

The second trend I was struck by was the number of Tea Shops that have opened since my last visit.

Whether this is a result of Starbucks having saturated the coffee shop market or a change in tastes I’m not sure? However, all those I visited were doing a roaring trade and Tea is clearly in vogue. And when America sneezes Britain catches a cold - so I strongly suggest “watch this space” for chains of Tea Shops to start appearing in the UK….

As always a trip to America is highly enjoyable and it appears our “special relationship” is a strong as ever. And with Americans firmly embracing two of our favourite British pastimes – beer and tea drinking - I can’t see any reason why this will change!

Paul Williams is a Consultant in the Retail Practice at Berwick Partners

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