Anticipated Tea Trends: 2021
If we gazed into a crystal ball last December, it must have faulty because we did not foresee the many challenges of 2020. As we prepare to turn the calendar to the New Year, let us try again. Perhaps with some pandemic experience, we can provide a better sense of what lies ahead.
The first wave of vaccines for COVID-19 bode well, as does getting beyond a highly contentious presidential election year here in the US. A medical doctor acquaintance of this writer told me that he is very optimistic about the vaccines and how they could potentially start a return to ‘normal’ as soon as mid-summer 2021. With this insight and the likelihood that other MDs share this stance, it makes sense to plan for continued challenges especially on the food service side for another six months, and that offering outside seating where and when possible, as well as local delivery and curbside pick up, are essential to staying in business.
Offering calming, supportive teas and tisanes will sustain your customers and provide much needed business. Whether a restaurant, café, teashop, or spa, be sure to promote the popular teas and flavors from the year gone by. This includes those with wellness-based ingredients such as ginger, green tea, Echinacea, chamomile, rooibos, passionflower, and turmeric to mention a few, as well fun, playful, colorful teas and herbals that offer an escape from the continued extra precautions. Last summer, we saw an uptick in colorful drinks that can be shared by consumers on social media, as they tried to squeeze in a bit of la dolce vita while staying cautious. Keep a good stock of any butterfly pea based blends, flavored teas that are dessert based such as Chocolate Truffle, and exotic fruity teas like Dragonfruit Dream that infuses a pretty pink.
Parents and teachers need caffeine to keep going as much as they need calming herbs to unwind. Have parental, essential worker, and educator support bundles as the progress through the next few months. Making it easy for customers to enjoy and share the wonders of tea is a benefit for you and your customers.
Some of our top teas for 2021 will be:
Stock up and keep a good mix of wellness and dessert teas on hand. We have at least a few more months of caution ahead, if all goes well. Consider that the supply chain for tea and herbs has been heavily burdened so some teas from all suppliers may not make it until the next spring harvest. (We’ve been working hard at gap fill to hold us over.) Keep your bestsellers on hand so you’ll always have a chance to make that sale!