A modern brew

As we all adjust to the new normal we’re starting to look ahead at the new trends emerging in 2020. Vincent Efferoth discusses why alcoholic tea is set to be a winning brewThe Covid-19 crisis has turned many things that we have all taken for granted upside down. Whilst our thoughts and focus have been with those most directly impacted by the virus and the wonderful efforts of our key workers, society is beginning to look forward and consider what is coming next? Economic challenges, a second wave of infection, personal safety, mental wellbeing, back to school and financial security are all subjects very high on the consumer agenda. As brands start to wrestle with what their role is and how they manage and thrive in what has been dubbed as the ‘new-normal’, there are many things that will undoubtedly change and also many that will stay the same.As a species, humans are very social creatures and also creatures of habit. The need to connect with others and that lack of opportunity to physically socialise in a pub or a restaurant has sparked a new wave of weekend entertainment with many households joining their friends and family on Zoom or Houseparty. Something only a few months ago that was unfamiliar to most. At the same time the desire for people to tap into new experiences hasn’t changed, there has been a huge increase in the demand for online tasting experiences and people cooking more exotic meals at home than they would have previously to help make up for what they might feel they are missing out on. As society begins to come to terms with how businesses might function post lockdown, it seems logical that many of the behaviours we have now adopted will stay with us and be adapted into our ‘normal’ routines, the desire to enjoy new products and experiences will certainly not go away.One thing that is certainly true is that the simple cup of tea plays a unique role within British society. Tea has been the ‘go to’ drink for many generations, it is often the drink that people will turn to in times of trouble, it has a way of making us relax, reflect and feel slightly better about things than before. After water, tea is the second most consumed drink in the world, in fact Brits are really starting to wake up to the huge variety of teas that are out there and becoming much more experimental in their choices. Whilst overall tea consumption is slowing, sales of premium / flavoured teas are rocketing. Consumers are becoming more open to new flavours, experiences and becoming more educated about the origins of their tea and keen to experiment and try more. People are also realising some of the health benefits associated with tea and how the humble ‘cuppa’ might just have a role to play in contributing to our wellbeing. Furthermore, the advent of cold-brewed tea has allowed people to access a much more sophisticated flavour and taste profile and opened up an opportunity for producers to innovate on a wider scale.Tea is now starting to make its mark in the alcohol market. It was recently named as one of the top cocktail trends for 2020 by The Spirits Business as part of its annual review of the market. We are also seeing a jump in the number of launches for tea-based alcoholic drinks and alcoholic tea blends alongside ourselves, NOVELTEA, Fortnum & Mason recently launched a non-alcoholic tea fizz and had a recent collaboration with Onker Gin to produce a 20 per cemt tea liquor and also Masons with their Gin Tea additionThere is also a number of consumer trends that have started to manifest themselves and impact on the alcohol industry; there has been a significant shift towards veganism, people avoiding gluten in their diet and a general desire to look after ourselves a lot more, and again this is going to be one of those trends that will to continue in a big way post-Covid. A recent survey highlighted that a third of adults are trying to cut back on their alcohol consumption, with lower and no-alcohol options, an area of the market growing rapidly. These styles of drinks certainly aren’t what they used to be, they taste significantly better than they did 20 years ago and consumers are being switched on to the opportunity to substitute high ABV spirits with lower but tasty alternatives, why have an 40 per cent ABV drink, when an 11 per cent ABV one is equally appealing – an opportunity that tea based brands are already tapping into.So, if you’re wondering what could be next on your customer’s radar you might not go far wrong by tapping into two of the things that Brits love most: tea and alcohol.NOVELTEA is an award-winning cold-brewed alcoholic tea blend, combining the two things British people love. All of NOVELTEA’s products are made from real loose tea leaf and blended with the finest spirits. Served over ice in a tumbler or hot in a teacup NOVELTEA’s blends are truly novel products that can be enjoyed year-round, providing something new and compelling to the drinks marketVincent Efferoth is one of the co-founders of NOVELTEA, alongside Lucas Passia. NOVELTEA create unique alcoholic tea blends that take inspiration from cultures around the world. As seen on Dragon’s Den in 2018, NOVELTEA was created as Vincent and Lukas found a gap in the market for an infusion of alcohol and tea, combining two of the UK’S favourite pastimes. Originally from Germany, all blends were inspired by travels to Morocco, China and Britain.www.noveltea-drinks.com