Marketing

Tea Is Perfect for Plant-Based Diets

Yummy Tea is great for Plant Based Diets!
Yummy Tea is great for Plant Based Diets!

The plant-based diet has legions of fans because it is healthful, easy to adopt, and saves animals from abuse and/or slaughter. So, what beverages should one drink on such a diet? Fortunately, there are many wonderful choices: fruit or vegetable juices, water (of course,) coffee, and our personal favorite, TEA!

Here are four great reasons to market true teas and fine herbals to your current (and future) customers who have embraced plant-based diets:

  • 1. All true tea is literally the leaf from the Camellia sinensis plant. Add hot water, and voila!
  • 2. All true tea and herbals (tisanes) are gluten-free.
  • 3. All herbal beverages are caffeine-free except Yerba Mate which contains the stimulant called mateine.
  • 4. Many flavored true teas and herbals include other plant-based ingredients.

  • Herbal teas are exceptionally good examples of plant-based beverages because they’re made from flowers such as chamomile, jasmine, hibiscus, rose petals, tree bark (rooibos), herbs and roots like ginger, peppermint, or lemongrass, tree leaves like the honeybush, and a great range of fruits. The potential for their use in beverages, and to cook with, in a plant-based diet are endless.

    Among the educational points to share:

  • • Single-estate teas have a signature flavor because of the terroir not unlike fine wines and stocking a “tea cellar” is a fantastic way to enjoy a wide range of teas and at a fraction of the price of wine.
  • • Organically-grown or GMO-free teas are plentiful and the ultimate healthful teas for any diet, but particularly the plant-based one.
  • • Many of these teas are grown, harvested, and processed by women and/or family-owned farms providing a steady income for a segment of the population that might otherwise sink into poverty.

  • Our Masters Teas are an exceptional choice to offer this market. Our Masters Teas are grown with care for the land, water, and air; harvested with precision, and processed with years of experience, frequently by hand. Best of all, these selections brew up to ambrosial experiences like no other. www.mastersteas.com

    Plant-Based Milk Substitutes:

    Got milk? Goat and cow’s milks are not included in some plant-centered diets, especially 100% vegan, but they are fine for vegetarians who consume dairy products. The choices for alternative plant-based "milks" are many, readily accessible at major grocery stores (or your shop) and include, among others: oat, almond, rice, coconut, or soy sources and readily accessible at any major grocery store (or your shop.) All these alternative selections for animal milks are made from plant sources and water.

    Ironically, some artificial creamers could be considered plant-based, but they do have hydrogenized oils to make the taste “creamy.” Read the labels as they frequently contain artificial ingredients which some consumers do not like to consume. Some brands of artificial creamers may contain Sodium Caseinate which is a cow’s milk derivative. A growing number of vegan creamer brands are entering the market, most of which use coconut milk, perfect for the plant-based dieter.

    Plant-Based Sweeteners:

    Not all sweeteners are suitable for a plant-based diet. Honey is considered an "animal product" as they're made by honeybees even though the diet of the bees is the nectar from flowers.

    Plant-based diet-friendly sweeteners include the traditional cane sugar or beet sugar sources. Depending upon how much of the molasses is retained, they can be purchased as white, light brown or dark brown sugars in granular form, or as sugar cubes. Molasses-heavy selections include Jaggery, Demerara, Sucanat, Piloncilo, Turbinado, and Muscovado are all suitable for a plant-based diet and have a wide range of earthy flavors suitable for both cooking and baking or sweetening tea as a beverage.

    Other plant-based sweeteners to consider are lo han extract made from the green gourd known as monk fruit. A little goes a long way as it is 150x as sweet as cane sugar. Maple syrup and coconut nectar are widely available as are various forms of blackstrap molasses made from sugar cane.

    Stevia, extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, native to some parts of South America. It is 200-400x sweeter than cane sugar, so take caution when using in loose form or purchase items in packets that are suitable for a single serving. It is available granulated like white sugar.

    The newest natural sweetener is yacon syrup made from the roots of the yacon plant. It has a caramel taste and is about half as sweet as honey.

    CAVEAT: Customers new to monk fruit, stevia or yacon should be advised that all three are intensely sweet, and portions should be considerably lower than cane or beet sugar. Also, not everyone can digest them well, so side effects are not uncommon such as diarrhea or indigestion. Variations of cane and beet sugars with high amounts of molasses are easily digested.

    MARKETING TIPS:

  • • Cross marketing is a win-win! Cross market your teas and herbals with local vegan restaurants, food grocery shops, or other vegan retailers to help engage their customers. Ask to sell the food companies’ best vegan cookies and scones with your teas.
  • • Signage sells! To introduce tea as a plant-based beverage, use bright-colored signage to invite questions and sales.
  • • Display and Demonstrate! Show how easy it is to brew up teas and herbals. Great opportunity to show off teapots and in-cup strainers, too. Everyone loves a sample, this is a superb way to remind customers that teas and herbals are plant-diet friendly.