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Tea in South Africa: feedback report from BMi Research

Black Tea


Black tea continues to have the greatest share of the tea market (56.0%). However, the category volume share has fallen by 2.3% as rooibos and speciality teas have gained ground.

Globally, tea is the second most consumed drink after water. This mature category saw a slight decline in 2011 and marginal growth is expected in 2012.

The 100-280g pack range continues to be the most popular pack size range comprising more than half of total black tea volumes for the base year.

Iced Tea

For another year slower single digit growth was seen within the ice tea market. This is the lowest volume growth in the history of the category. The rate of volume started to decline in the midst of the global recession as the economic slowdown put a cap on consumer spending.

The recent stabilisation of the category in terms of volume growth could indicate organic market growth saturation. This would imply that new product offerings and innovative brand positioning coupled with linked marketing strategies are areas left to explore to ensure continuous market share stability against other non-alcoholic ready to drink beverages.

The outlook for the category remains positive but conservative.


The popularity of rooibos continues to grow with the category showing an increase in volumes in 2011. This is the second consecutive year in which double digit growth has been experienced.

The rooibos market share continues to rise as South Africans migrate from traditional black teas to rooibos. It is believed that this is largely due to the prevalence of the trend towards health and wellbeing.

Unlike the other tea categories, a large percentage of rooibos volumes are exported, however, export volumes have remained fairly static in recent years.

The outlook for rooibos remains positive with growth expected for 2012 and 2013.

Speciality Tea

Speciality tea continues to increase in popularity. Herbal and fruit teas with functional benefits, such as aiding digestion, are growing in popularity among health conscious consumers.

However, as this niche category only makes a minor contribution to total tea volumes it did not have a significant impact on the total volume growth of the tea category.

Download the short feedback report on Tea in South Africa from BMi Research, published March 2013

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