Tata Consumer Products (formerly Tata Global Beverages) announced that the company is relaunching Tetley – a green tea brand – with a new variant containing vitamin C. As one of leading players in the Indian tea sector, Tata Consumer’s latest launch aims to capitalise on the growing consumer affinity for food, drinks and remedies that can boost immunity in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. As many as *46% of the Indian respondents in a GlobalData 2020 survey affirmed that they find claims of ‘boosting immunity’ to be very appealing when choosing food and drinks.

Demand for tea has gained traction amid the pandemic, given its health benefits in a market where per capita consumption is estimated to be around *21.2kgs. As many as *324% of the Indian population confirmed that they are buying slightly or significantly more quantities of tea since the outbreak of Covid-19, while 44% of them stated they are buying the same quantities as before. This can be attributed to the higher number of family members cocooning at home, including those working or studying from home due to the virus outbreak.

Additionally, as the number of Covid-19 positive cases surged most consumers remained wary of stepping outside for a cup of their favourite brew as validated by GlobalData’s 2020 Market Pulse survey, wherein *70% of Indian respondents said they either stopped going or were going slightly or significantly less often to coffee shops and cafés since the coronavirus outbreak. Moreover, consumers took to sipping warm drinks to ward off throat infections. The pandemic thereby opened a window of opportunity for hot drinks brands in the Indian market.

This resonates with a recent statement from Sushant Dash, President at Packaged Beverages (India, Bangladesh & ME) at Tata Consumer Products: “Some of the new tea variants were pre-pandemic plans but new consumer insights prioritised and accelerated the launches.”

India is one of the largest markets for hot tea in Asia, with sales projected to reach *2US$10 billion by 2024, suggesting the significant opportunities for new tea launches in the country. With the pandemic driving a boom in online grocery sales, Tata Consumer is looking to prioritise the availability of new variants through popular e-commerce platforms followed by a slower rollout planned for brick and mortar outlets.

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