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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/18/2014 -- Growing consumer preference for healthier beverages is driving increased demand for RTD tea. Many Americans are choosing RTD tea over other soft drinks, such as cola carbonates, due to its natural health properties, such as antioxidants found in black and green teas. People view RTD tea as better for you and lower in calories than other alternatives, even if most RTD tea consumption is of the sweetened variety. Manufacturers have increased the appeal of RTD tea by going beyond traditional black tea to include lemonade and juice blends. RTD teas also benefit from their refreshing qualities, as the light texture allows consumers to drink much greater quantities of RTD tea than they could of thicker drinks such as juices and RTD coffees.
AriZona Beverage Co, maker of the Arizona RTD teas, is the leader in RTD teas, with an off-trade value share of 25% in 2013, down from 26% in 2012. The company has been able to maintain its lead in this category through product innovation and low prices. New products are introduced frequently to create excitement among consumers. The company's signature Arizona Arnold Palmer half-iced tea, half-lemonade brand has done well and benefited from multiple varieties including Arnold Palmer Lite Half & Half with Splenda and green tea. The majority of its RTD teas are sold for US$0.99, making it one of the cheapest single-serve soft drinks options in the beverage aisle.
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RTD tea is expected to see continued growth over the forecast period, increasing by 16% in off-trade value terms at constant 2013 prices and by 11% in off-trade volume terms. This growth reflects the increase in health awareness among consumers in the US. RTD teas offer a refreshing beverage with several natural health benefits but fewer calories than regular carbonates. Although RTD tea is becoming increasingly saturated, new flavours and varieties continue to be introduced. The primary source of growth in the category will be antioxidant-rich green, white and red teas combined with fruit flavours to maintain the natural positioning. Additionally, the recent introduction of kombucha teas on store shelves will help push the category's growth. Kombucha's claimed health benefits, not to mention the beverage itself, are still relatively unknown to mainstream consumers.
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