Trouble brews as shoppers switch to a cheaper cuppa

By Daniel Jones



dmg media (UK)

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BRITONS might typically turn to a cuppa in times of trouble... but the cost-of-living crisis has even hit the type and volume of tea we buy. Hard-pressed shoppers are cutting back on what they buy as well as swapping big names such as PG Tips, Yorkshire Tea and Twinings for cheaper supermarket brands. Overall, tea sales have fallen 4.3 per cent in a year – but sales of own brand brews rose 1.2 per cent. PG Tips, the market leader for decades, has been the worst hit after increasing prices by 50 per cent – from £2 to £3 for 80 bags at Tesco. It sold about 900 million fewer tea bags in the year to May. But Typhoo bucked the decline, with sales up a mammoth 60 per cent, thanks to keeping its prices down to about 1p per teabag, similar to or cheaper than own brands. But other suppliers have been hiking prices, so although less tea was sold, the amount we spent on it as a nation rose 2.5 per cent. Yorkshire Tea is still Britain’s top brand and saw sales rise £9.3million to £143million a year. That was down to a 8 per cent hike – it actually sold 109,000 fewer kilos of tea. Data was compiled by NIQ and Kantar and reported in The Grocer. Polina Jones at NIQ said: ‘Switching from a brand to own label is a popular tactic to keep spending down.’