Did you know that January is National Hot Tea Month? I sure didn’t. Not until I saw Dunkin’ Donuts’ National Hot Tea Month promotion on Twitter. Recently, I’ve noticed that companies have been using “National (fill in the blank) Month” to turn a profit and they are doing it through online promotions. This month, a few major brands are capitalizing on National Hot Tea Month.
Dunkin’ Donuts is celebrating this momentous month by inviting fans on Twitter to answer a total of four questions related to the many ways people love and enjoy hot tea, using special hashtag #DDHotTea. "Twen-tea" (20) winners total (five per question) win a special tea-lovers prize package including a $20 Dunkin' Donuts Card, two boxes of Dunkin' Donuts Packaged Tea and a special Dunkin' Donuts ceramic mug to enjoy the hot beverage at home or on-the-go.
Teavana, owned by Starbucks, is also offering for a limited-time its very first yellow tea, Golden Dragon Yellow Tea. And Keurig is giving $6.00 off of any 4 boxes of hot tea purchased online before February.
Tea growing in popularity
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, tea is the most-consumed beverage worldwide next to water. In its 2013 State of the U.S. Tea Industry, The Tea Association of the USA noted the growth of the tea industry with around 170 million pounds imported during 1990 compared to the nearly 277 million pounds imported in full year 2012. This represents a 2.5 percent compound annual growth rate.
Like coffee, tea is thought to be recession-proof and tea is gaining ground with Millennials as well.
Teavana surveyed consumers on the tea habits of Americans and found that 34 percent increased the amount of tea they drank in 2013. Millennials make up the fastest-growing group of enthusiasts, according to the Teavana survey and those under 34 are most likely to drink more tea in 2014. It also found that 40 percent of Americans are most likely to choose green tea compared to 22 percent who prefer black tea and 19 percent who prefer herbal tea.
Tea, specifically hot tea, is a growing segment and has been for years. More coffee chains are placing importance on hot tea alongside their coffees and consumers have come to expect tea offerings in OCS.
Use tea month to your advantage
Hot tea is popular, we can’t deny that. Now, not only are companies capitalizing on this consumer-made “theme of the month,” but they are doing it through online promotions. Large-brand companies have figured out a way to increase profits while simultaneously appealing to consumers’ wants and expectations.
Operators, here is an opportunity for you to do the same. Play off of the big guys; offer your customers a new tea this month, make a certain discount in ‘honor’ of this month or create a simple promotion that lets your customers know it is National Hot Tea Month. Trust me, consumers live for special themes exactly like this one. If you — like the big companies — can leverage a profit off of it, why not?
Are any operators doing something special for National Hot Tea Month? Let us know.