By: Howard Riell  | October 27, 2023

As customers search for better-for-you options at c-stores, tea could prove a rewarding option.

Convenience operators wondering whether or not they should introduce a dispensed tea program at their stores need to know that there are solid reasons why the answer should almost certainly be yes.

For convenience store retailers across the United States, dispensed teas, like dispensed waters, remain part of an overall trend favoring dispensed beverages in general, including coffee, nitro brews, waters and energy-infused drinks — all of which are viewed by consumers today as better-for-you choices. It shares the spotlight with a host of dispensed beverages that are non-GMO, organic and use pure sugar cane instead of corn syrup, including flavored lemonades and functional/dietary beverages.

At the same time, Americans have clearly demonstrated a thirst for flavored teas. To no one’s surprise, accommodating c-store retailers have responded by rolling out fresh-brewed flavors such as raspberry, papaya, green tea, mango black tea and raspberry black tea.

In general, consumers pick up coffee at convenience stores because it gives them a shot of energy. On the other hand, tea — oolong, black or green — offers an alternative and is a gentler beverage. With L-Theanine effectively modulating the onset of caffeine’s energy boost, it can also decrease stress, jumpstart creativity and help provide focus.

Cold dispensed beverages have proven to be a significant profit generator for the convenience store channel. For one thing, the size of the drink is more adjustable than with a bottled or canned beverage out of the cooler. Dispensers also create the option of blending multiple drinks. The cup also permits consumers to add ice in any amount, sometimes in a choice of shapes, to their drink. Added value in the form of free refills is also a powerful attraction.

Tea can also provide another reason for customers to enter the store, especially for those customers who don’t drink coffee.

According to Statista, per capita consumption of tea is expected to rise, having stood at 430 grams in 2022. Additionally, the global tea market value is expected to rise to $160 billion by 2028.

Source: CStore Decisions