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Some like it HOT

The foodservice industry is finding new potential in hot beverages. This couldn’t have come at a better time for the licensed trade in particular, where takings have been hit by the smoking ban. Sales of tea and coffee can deliver not only refreshment and energy to your customers, but profit to yourselves

A British institution with deep historical roots, tea remains Britain’s favourite beverage1 with 165 million cups being consumed daily2 in a UK market worth £529m a year3. Seventy per cent of the British population drinks tea4, with the average person enjoying three cups a day5. However, with sales of fruit and herb teas on the rise (they currently account for over 11 per cent of total hot beverages consumed out of home6), it is recommended that you offer a selection of these alongside the traditional black tea option.


Tetley varietiesTetley has come up with a good idea for caterers – you can trial all Tetley blends by ordering just one box of each in starter packs for speciality teas or fruit and herbal teas. These speciality teas have been a hit for Paul Morgan, chef patron of the Tally Ho public house near Hungerford in Berkshire. “Three-quarters of my sales are still traditional black tea, but many people ask for peppermint or decaf tea,” says Paul. “We’ve now started to promote the different varieties at the bottom of the menu, as well as displaying the envelopes on the stand around the bar. I’m amazed at how simply by offering a range of teas you can easily add five per cent to a bill.”


Sue Jones-Smithson, customer marketing manager for Typhoo confirms Paul’s findings. “These teas do even more than offer a caffeine-free and fruity alternative,” says Sue. “The trendy flavours are helping to attract new drinkers to the market, particularly younger consumers, and they offer a significant opportunity for outlets to grow consumption of tea out of home.” Typhoo offers a range of teas exclusively for the foodservice market under its London Fruit & Herb brand. In blind taste tests7, the London Fruit & Herb teas consistently outperformed rival brands due to the exclusive Juicea Technology used, whereby the juice concentrate is encapsulated inside a micro capsule to ensure that none of the flavour is lost during storage or the brewing process.

Yorkshire TeaTaylors of Harrogate

Taylors of Harrogate is an independent family business based in North Yorkshire. Its Yorkshire Tea is the UK’s number three black tea brand, enjoyed by ten million consumers. Taylors is a founder of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) and, according to sales and marketing manager Kevin Sinfield, “only Yorkshire Tea is blended to suit different water types, so our tea tastes delicious, no matter where you live.”

Newby Teas

Newby TeasNewby Teas, another member of the ETP, offers award-winning English Breakfast, Ceylon and Darjeeling blends so that “consumers can enjoy an affordable little luxury every day.” Most of the company’s traditional leaf blends are available to the catering industry in 500g saddle-packs, while more specialist blends are available in smaller 250g packs. Newby’s assistant tea buyer, Sally Henderson, says: “We’re seeing a growing appreciation among our customers of how diverse the world of tea is. From that comes an interest in rediscovering the classics, as well as experimenting with other speciality teas. We’ve also seen growing interest in our tisanes, rooibos and green tea ranges.”


Green tea contains vitamins and high levels of antioxidants, and has long been considered an anti-ageing drink in Japan, where scientists are now beginning to discover anti-cancer benefits as well. Ocha-tea imports and distributes particularly fine green teas from the Yame region of Kyushu island – matcha instant tea, five loose teas and five types of teabags. While on the subject of green tea, it has also been said that green tea is effective for deodorising the home. All you have to do is dry the leaves after brewing up with them, scatter them across the floor and then vacuum (source:

The nation’s favourite tea8, PG tips has teamed up with the Rainforest Alliance as part of Unilever’s campaign to pioneer the sustainable production of tea throughout the world. The collaboration will help improve incomes, crops and livelihoods of nearly one million people in Africa and eventually two million people globally.

The Rainforest Alliance will make sure the tea used in PG tips has been grown using sustainable farming methods, and that the workers who picked it earn a decent living and have good working conditions. At least 50 per cent of PG tips tea already comes from the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms and PG tips is working towards being fully certified by 2010.

Tea harvestingSusan Gregory, category marketing director, Unilever Foodsolutions comments: “We hope that by working with the Rainforest Alliance we will help to transform the tea industry, as has been done with coffee and bananas. It will not be achieved overnight, but we are proud to say that we have started a process that will have a positive impact on two million people along the entire supply chain.”

Susan continues: “Statistics show that 61 per cent of tea drinkers agree that tea should be ethically sourced9, while 72 per cent of consumers agree that ‘it is worth paying extra for products that are ethically produced or kinder to the environment.’ ” 10

With these statistics in mind, if you stock PG tips, remember to communicate to your customers about the source of their tea. Call 0800 783 3728 or visit the website, to find out how you can get your POS kit containing posters, tent cards and a customer promotion (ending 1.11.08) to win a £2,500 holiday voucher. For every POS kit ordered from the website before 31.12.08, PG tips tea will donate 50p to Unilever’s own tree planting initiative in Kericho, Kenya: ‘Trees 2000’.

CoffeeWake up and taste that coffee

In the UK, we drink approximately 70 million cups of coffee a day with 85 per cent of us taking milk with it and 57 per cent adding sugar. Grown in more than 50 countries and the second largest export in the world after oil (in dollar value), coffee is the most popular drink worldwide with around two billion cups consumed every day, according to the British Coffee Association

For most establishments, gone are the days when your coffee offering was sorted with a teaspoon of instant – nowadays most customers opt for tastier alternatives.

Nescafe Decaff Sachets“Café-style drinks are now everyday favourites and caterers need to be able to offer premium everyday soluble products,” says Nestlé Food Services’ marketing director, Martin Lines. Nescafé offers a full range of these café-style drinks, including latte, cappuccino and mocha with the single-serve portions being ideal for a hotel in-room offering that reflects drinks people enjoy on the street.

Batleys Instant Coffee GranulesIn spite of the growing trend to visit coffee shops and drink the increasingly wide choice of coffees on offer, there remains of course a market for instant coffee – quick, convenient and still hitting the spot for many coffee drinkers. Batleys’ own-brand catering coffees are a carefully selected blend for caterers. Producing a well-balanced flavour, they are available in powder or granules, with both providing 422 cups of average strength coffee per 750g tin. This works out at about 2p per cup. 

Don’t forget the chocolate

Ciocchino sipping chocolateCiocchino, a new concept in sipping chocolate, is a fairly recent – and utterly delicious – arrival in the luxury hot chocolate market. Created to revive the Italian tradition of ‘sipping’ chocolate, Ciocchino, pronounced choc-ee-no, is a combination of the finest real dark Cacao Barry chocolate blended with a dairy whipping cream alternative. The result is a silky smooth, thick, decadent sipping chocolate served as a short, espresso-style shot of warm chocolate.

With a cost per serving of 38p (including cup and a Cigarette Russe wafer biscuit) and RRP of £1.75, this could be a tasty little earner for you. The good news is that if you want to try stocking this fab drink, you can do so on a risk free basis. For further information visit or phone 01142 455 400.

First Choice CoffeeThose who are thinking of moving away from the instant offering may be interested in Lavazza, which offers café and bar professionals courses on how to prepare the perfect cup of coffee. First Choice Coffee also offers training for baristas and has some handy starter tips on its website. The company’s Grand Café brand, which last year won the hot beverage category in the Caterer & Hotelkeeper Excellence in Food & Drink Awards, is packed in special valve bags for consistent quality. Business development director Martin Morrell says: “First Choice Coffee is the largest supplier of Rainforest Alliance certified coffee to the foodservice industry. We were one of the first suppliers to start selling Fairtrade coffee ten years ago.”

Other Fairtrade suppliers of coffee to the catering industry include Metro Drinks with its popular ready-to-drink iced coffee and, of course, the major Fairtrade player: Cafédirect. If you want to keep your finger firmly on the pulse in the hot beverages market, it would appear that not only is it wise to invest in a coffee machine, but also to offer Fairtrade drinks. According to a recent survey sponsored by Cafédirect and conducted independently at in Feburary, 87 per cent of respondents regularly bought Fairtrade. This supports figures from the Fairtrade Foundation, which show that sales of Fairtrade products have increased 40 per cent or more each year, to an estimated £430 million in 2007. A resounding 86 per cent of consumers said “yes” when asked whether they would pay a few pence more for quality Fairtrade products.

1. TNS NDS 2005
2., part of the United Kingdom Tea council
3. IRI 52 w/e 29 Dec 2007
4., part of the United Kingdom Tea council
5., part of the United Kingdom Tea council
6., part of the United Kingdom Tea council
7. IRI 52 w/e 29 Dec 2007
8. AC Nielsen Total Cov GB Mat to 11.07
9. Tea Omnibus survey 07.07 1000 respondents
10. AC Nielsen Scan Track 11.07

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