Breakfast focus: Up for the cup

Related tags Tea

However else we start the day, for most of us a cuppa is essential - and a profitable tea and coffee offer is an opportunity many pubs still have...

However else we start the day, for most of us a cuppa is essential - and a profitable tea and coffee offer is an opportunity many pubs still have scope to develop.

Tea is very much a morning product, and offering customer a range of choice helps to add value to a product category which is, frankly, all too often a poor relation of coffee. Susan Gregory, category marketing director, Unilever Foodsolutions, says: "There is a huge potential to increase tea consumption during the morning period.

"By offering a variety of teas including a black tea such as PG tips, an infusion, a speciality tea, a fruit tea, a green tea and a sustainably sourced tea, operators will enhance their breakfast menu whilst also offering consumers an abundance of choice to suit all tastes."

All those specialties are available in Unlilever's Lipton range, and there is also PG2GO takeaway tea, aimed at customers wanting to grab a drink on the go.

Typhoo offers three speciality teas to the foodservice market, not currently available in retail - Assam, Earl Gray and English Breakfast, There is also a choice of fruity flavours from Typhoo's London Fruit & Herb brand.

Although speciality and flavoured teas are on the increase, traditional black tea remains the nation's most popular choice, accounting for around 70 per cent of the tea market.

Typhoo offer black tea in a range of pub-friendly formats, including one-cup, two-cup and half gallon tea bags, as well as and string tag and envelope formats to ensure that pubs can provide the perfect cuppa at breakfast.

There is also front of house merchandising from Typhoo. Free merchandising units and a range of point of sale items can be accessed by emailing pos@typhoo.com.

At the premium end of the market, there is even stronger evidence that consumers are happy to pay a little more for options that they view as healthy choices. Sales of green and fruit or herbal infusions have increased strongly over the past year for Newby Teas, which supplies upmarket restaurants such as One Aldwych, Claridges, Gleneagles, and Nobu.

Jon Wild, Newby Sales and Marketing Director, says: "As customer's preferences change it is essential to keep pace with the drinking habits of its customers.

"We are seeing a growing understanding and appreciation among our customers of how diverse the world of tea is. From that comes an interest in re-discovering the classics, be it second flush Assam or Lapsang Souchong, as well as experimenting with other exciting speciality teas such as chocolate tea, winter rose or strawberry and mango blends.

"Even more encouragingly, consumers are becoming more interested in enjoying these flavours every day, and have become happy to pay a little extra for a tea drinking experience."

More consumers are also focused on the fair trade message. Metropolitan Coffee Company, which works with a number of small-scale farmers in Brazil has launched Integrity, a certified fair trade coffee, which aims to prove that fair trade can mean ethical sourcing without compromising on quality.

Integrity is available in beans by the kilo, 50g filter packs, cost effective, pre-ground three-cup sachets for cafetieres, as well as 300g jars of soluble coffee. Fairtrade tea, hot chocolate, biscuits and sugar sticks complement the range, and there is also barista training available.

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