Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/05/2014 -- While modest, growth of 1% in retail volume sales of tea in 2013 was a marked improvement on the large declines recorded in the previous two years. Steep retail price hikes driven by rapid growth in global commodity prices had a very negative impact on tea consumption in 2011 and 2012. Global prices stabilised somewhat in 2013, which allowed for more aggressive discounting by manufacturers and retailers. Together with rising disposable incomes among Uruguayan consumers, this supported a return to growth in retail volume and current value sales for the tea category. Growth in current value sales was slower than the 5-year average, but this was mainly because the review period CAGR was skewed by significant price increases. Moreover, current value growth of 2% was much better than the 8% decline witnessed in 2012. New launches, marketing campaigns and improvements in the distribution of various product types also contributed to the category's recovery, as did growing consumer appreciation for the healthy properties of different tea varieties.
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Instituto Botanico La Selva remained the leading player in tea in 2013 with a retail value share of 20%. Offering a broad range of product types and flavour variants under its La Selva umbrella brand, the company held dominant positions in the fruit/herbal tea, green tea and other tea categories. Jose Aldao, which offers a similarly broad product range under the Hornimans brand, ranked second overall with a retail value share of 17%. This was mainly due to its leading position in black tea, though it also ranked second in other tea and claimed third place in the green tea category. Aside from wide portfolios, La Selva and Jose Aldao both maintain competitive pricing strategies and extensive distribution networks. This has enabled both to build strong brand loyalty among consumers, which helped to ensure that they remained the clear leaders in their respective strongholds of fruit/herbal and black tea throughout the review period. Other prominent competitors in tea in 2013 included Apiarios Cabral Ltda, Unilever del Uruguay SA, Carrau & Cia SA, La Manchega SA and Artesanos del Cafe SRL.
In contrast to the decline recorded over the review period as a whole, retail volume sales of tea are expected to grow steadily during the forecast period. A similar turnaround is projected in terms of growth in retail value sales at constant 2013 prices. The positive development of the entire category will be underpinned by rising disposable incomes and growing consumer appreciation for the healthy properties of different types of tea. Greater price stability and more frequent discount promotions should also support continuous growth in tea consumption, as should new launches and marketing activities.
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