All You Need to Know About the Tea Industry in the US

The global tea market was valued at $66.74 billion in 2022 and it’s projected to grow at a 6.54% CAGR to reach $91.6 billion by 2027. Tea is among the top consumed beverages globally after water. It’s estimated that approximately 80% of households in the U.S. consume tea, and about 159 million Americans drink it daily. Notably, the United States is among the top 5 international tea importers, but in 2022 it was the second largest tea importer after Pakistan. It shows how strong tea culture is growing in the U.S. and other parts of the world. 

Let’s explore Covid-19’s impact on United States’ tea industry, recent trends, why there is increased demand for loose leaf tea, and how this market will be like in 2023 and beyond.

How Covid-19 Impacted the U.S. Tea Industry

Like most industries, the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted the U.S. tea industry. Surprisingly, it positively affected consumer eating habits, whereby tea became one of the go-to products during this period. Most consumers actively sought food and beverages that support their physical and mental well-being. Throughout 2021 alone, consumers in the United States drank about 85 billion servings of tea (about 4 billion gallons). 

According to the “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey, registered dietitian nutritionists (respondents) said that tea was readily available and enhanced emotional well-being. Additionally, consumers considered tea as a better alternative to sugar-laden beverages. 

Notably, tea (specifically green tea) emerged among the top 10 superfoods due to its immense health benefits, including blunting inflammation. Further, Euro Monitor International outlined that herbal tea outperformed most tea segments, such as iced teas, during the Covid-19 period. Above all, there was a big launch of wellness teas and campaigns by major tea brands in the U.S. and beyond. 

Recent Tea Trends in America 

A recent report by the Tea Association of USA shows more people in the U.S. are into green and black teas. As of 2022, green tea alone was about 15% of the total tea imports, and both black and green tea imports were estimated to be 240 million pounds. Approximately 86% and nearly 59% of Americans consume green tea and black tea, respectively. 

The President of The Tea Association of the USA and The Specialty Tea Institute, Peter Goggi, outlines in the World Tea News publication that more people in the U.S. are exploring specialty tea. Millennials and Gen Z are now the largest consumers of specialty tea in the U.S. Such consumers are more interested in a tea’s origin, flavor, bush, processing, sustainability, and brand. 

Why is there Growth in Loose Leaf Teas Demand in the United States?

Tea bags have been part of American tea culture since the 20th century: it’s where it originated before gaining popularity elsewhere. As tea consumption in the U.S. increased recently, so were bagged tea sales. However, the loose teas, which are more of Chinese tea culture, couldn’t go unnoticed due to increased demand in the U.S. tea marketplace. Statistics show that bagged and loose leaf tea sales amounted to over $500 million in the U.S.

More consumers in the United States now have more awareness of loose leaf tea health benefits. Also, Millenials’ sedentary lifestyle has significantly influenced loose leaf tea adoption. Other factors influencing the growth of loose leaf tea demand in the United States include the availability of a wide variety of tea flavors and incredible tastes. Above all, some consumers are looking for an alternative to coffee.  

Consequently, it has opened more opportunities for entrepreneurs to market and sell loose leaf tea. Examples of loose leaf tea include Oolong tea, white tea, green tea, and Pu-Erh. 

It’s worth noting that online stores undeniably dominate loose leaf tea sales due to the fast-growing e-commerce industry. 

Tea Industry in the U.S. in 2023 and Beyond 

Industry research reports show that there has been tremendous growth in health awareness among Americans in the recent five years. Other studies focused on tea’s health benefits, thus boosting the tea industry. Subsequently, tea production companies are expanding their tea varieties and flavors to meet the growing demand. 

This trend will likely continue in the coming years since consumers are checking their living and dietary habits more than ever. 

Are you a tea seller or retailer in the U.S. looking for organically produced green tea, black tea, white tea, or Oolong tea? Bluesea Tea is your ideal choice as a supplier where you can get wholesale tea. We mainly produce tea in two forms, i.e., loose leaf tea and tea bags. Above all, we’re USDA, E.U. Organic, and FDA certified, making it easier to ship our tea products to our customers where these standards are accepted.