We know tea has been a staple beverage in many cultures for centuries. However, with modern-day society's fast-paced, health-obsessed lifestyle, our consumption preferences have adapted to be more convenient yet still healthy. Luckily, ready-to-drink (RTD) tea has emerged as an ideal alternative. If you're curious to know more about the growing trend of RTD tea and why it's here to stay, read on!
Ready-to-drink (RTD) tea is precisely what it sounds like - a beverage prepared and bottled for immediate consumption. It is one of the fastest-growing beverages in the tea market, estimated at $29.66 billion globally in 2019. In the United States, iced tea reigns supreme; RTD teas have become a popular choice as a convenient alternative to traditional sugary soft drinks. With the rise of health-conscious attitudes, younger tea drinkers have embraced RTD tea as an option that aligns with their healthy living goals.
Tea, especially green tea, contains many health benefits, from aiding in stress relief to mitigating heart disease. RTD tea provides these health benefits, losing none of its flavor. One great aspect of RTD tea is the countless possibilities for adding flavors and ingredients. However, earlier and cheaper RTD teas often contained only sugar, water, tea flavoring, and coloring agents. They did not have any actual tea leaves.
The public today, however, is much more discerning and knowledgeable regarding good food and drinks. As a result, companies now specialize in higher quality RTD teas that feature real tea. These teas are brewed just like you would at home, but then bottled for a quick and easy grab-and-go option or as a refreshing drink enjoyed casually at home or in social gatherings.
The increased demand for ready-to-drink teas has also brought about a new variety of unique tea blends that cater to different regions and cultural preferences. This trend of RTD tea offers many innovative flavors, such as peach oolong or lemongrass green tea, that appeal to tea drinkers of all ages.
Bottle tea producers have perfected the Integrated Extraction System (IES) to extract the essence of natural tea leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant. This pure concentrate is carefully combined with other ingredients to create a delightful bottled beverage. It can also transform the extract into a powdered form for added convenience. However, it is important to note that it may compromise some beneficial compounds in this process.
While big names like Arizona, PepsiCo-Lipton, and Coca-Cola have successfully embraced the RTD tea market, an exciting trend is emerging. Sustainability has become a growing concern for consumers, who now demand transparency in manufacturing, packaging, and the quality of ingredients. This shift has created a unique opportunity for smaller companies to establish their niche in the industry.
In conclusion, the rise of RTD tea satisfies tea lovers’ taste buds while catering to their fast-paced lifestyles. Today's RTD teas contain real tea leaves, natural flavors, and unique blends while still offering tea's health benefits. The variety of RTD teas allows tea drinkers to indulge in innovative, unique flavors wherever and whenever they want. As the world adapts to new cultures and lifestyles, RTD tea offers a convenient, enjoyable, and healthy alternative to traditional soft drinks. So, whether you're a seasoned tea drinker, next time you're in the market for a refreshing and healthy drink, be sure to try RTD tea!