Barista-style machine makes tea exciting again
15 July 2014
Sharp’s tea espresso machine makes tea exciting again, while also attracting health-seeking consumers, who spent over US $3.5 billion in the search for healthy tea in 2013.
Launched in Japan in 2014, Sharp’s Healsio Ocha Presso offers a new and fun way of preparing tea. The machine’s modern design – reminiscent of the booming barista culture in the coffee market – will appeal to younger urban consumers who are looking for exciting drinks. Catherine O’Connor, senior analyst at Canadean, says: “Tea’s popularity suffers among younger consumers with some seeing it as a boring and old-fashioned drink.” Those aged 34 and under make up 52% of the global population, however they are only responsible for 42% of tea consumption. This shows that manufacturers need to come up with new and lively ideas to make tea appeal to the young. O’Connor adds: “Retailing at over $200, Sharp’s machine would be an expensive way to target the casual consumer. However, it does provide an innovative example of how tea can be positioned as an exciting alternative to coffee.”
Tea’s health benefits – an opportunity for functional drinks?
Besides its fashionableness, the machine’s slow grinding mechanism also boosts health benefits, as it prevents the loss of fibre and catechin antioxidants from tea leaves. Tea is one of the number one products that consumers look to for health benefits, with almost one in every five cups drunk for this reason. Consumers regularly drink tea to help with a variety of medical issues, ranging from helping with weight loss and mental alertness to cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol. O’Connor explains: “High confidence in tea’s ability to improve health means that consumers will be more trusting of the health claims of functional drinks that use tea as a base than they might be of other offerings. Combined with the growing global interest in the medical benefits of products from the East, the market for tea is likely to grow in the future. This is especially true for brands that can recapture the interest of younger consumers.”
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Sharp’s Healsio Ocha Presso offers tea drinkers a health boost in a barista-style design.
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