Australia’s fixation with coffee has been well documented, not least by Roy Morgan Research. But what of the country’s tea-drinkers? After all, almost as many Australians buy tea as coffee in an average four weeks — but when it comes to hype, media attention and hipster adulation, the leaf is generally overshadowed by the bean. In an effort to redress the imbalance, we take a well-deserved tea break...
In the 12 months to March 2015, the proportion of Australians 14+ buying tea of any kind in an average four-week period was 42%, only slightly lower than the 45% who buy coffee. Regular tea is by far the most popular type, purchased by 35% of Aussies, well ahead of green tea (11%) and herb/fruit tea (8%).
Young Australians aged under 25 are the least likely to buy tea of any kind. This tendency is especially striking for regular tea, purchased by just 15% of Aussies under-25 and 54% of those aged 65+ in any given four weeks, but is also evident for green and herbal/fruit varieties of tea.
Who buys which kind of tea?
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=15,913).
Tea: the healthy choice
Whether a person buys (and drinks) green, regular or herbal/fruit tea appears to be closely linked to their attitudes towards their dietary health in general.
For example, compared to the average Aussie, people who buy green tea are:
- 51% more likely to agree that “I avoid dairy foods whenever possible”
- 57% more likely to agree that “The food I eat is all, or almost all, vegetarian”
- 49% more likely to agree that “I try to buy organic food whenever I can.”
Herbal/fruit tea shoppers are also well above average for these statements, as well as being:
- 25% more likely than the average Aussie to agree that “I won’t buy genetically modified food if I can help it”
- 21% more likely to agree that “I restrict how much I eat of fattening foods”
- 20% more likely to agree that “I prefer to eat healthy snacks”.
Green tea buyers exceed the national average for these attitude statements too.
With the exception of the statements about vegetarian and dairy foods, Australians who buy regular tea also tend to be more likely than the average Australian to agree with these dietary attitudes. However, the difference is less marked than for those who buy green and/or herbal teas.
Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Dating back to ancient China, tea has long been associated with its health-giving qualities. And our data shows that it apparently still is, revealing that people who purchase green, herbal and/or regular tea tend to be more diet-conscious than the average Australian. Age also appears to play a role in the decision to buy tea, with older Aussies being more likely than younger generations to purchase it in an average four weeks.
“Regular tea remains the best-selling type by far, but the proportion of the population buying it in an average four weeks has declined slightly since 2010. Although it is still relatively niche, herbal/fruit tea is being purchased by a higher proportion of consumers than it was five years ago. The market for green tea has been stable since 2010.
“To succeed in this crowded market and stand out from the pack, tea brands need to ensure they have an in-depth understanding of their consumers and tailor their communications accordingly. Age and diet attitudes are just two of the factors that influence a person’s shopping decisions.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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