Tea has long been a grocery essential here in the UK – in fact, our national stereotype was born out of our love for the calming drink. Starting a tea franchise business could be incredibly lucrative, so let’s run through the advantages of taking the leap.
We’ll take a closer look at how the tea sector is performing later on in the article, but let’s jump straight into the advantages of joining a tea franchise.
Advantages of starting a tea franchise unit
1. The demand is there
Alongside coffee, tea is one of the most popular hot drinks on offer and has a history spanning centuries. Researchers believe Brits have enjoyed tea breaks for more than 200 years and still consume around 100 million cups every single day.
But the industry is home to more than just the standard ‘white with two sugars’ variety. The rise of fruit and herbal teas has also boosted the health of the industry – but more on that next.
2. You can diversity your product range
The popularity of herbal, fruit and other speciality teas is on the rise. According to Mintel, consumers aged between 25 and 34 have drunk at least five different types of tea on average in the previous month. This growing diversity in the tea sector can be attributed to the current ‘wellness’ trend, which encourages consumers to ditch sugary and highly caffeinated drinks. As a result, more young people are picking up healthier tea blends packed with antioxidants.
Herbal teas have become firm favourites for a variety of reasons; they can aid relaxation or sleep, relieve stress, improve digestion and even lower blood pressure. Of course, many people simply love the taste. Beth Staton at Sky News revealed:
Britons are drinking less traditional tea – but spending more on their brew.
National Tea Day corroborates this. Its research shows customers are prepared to spend around £1.85 on breakfast tea, but this figure increases to £4.20 for iced tea and over £5 for speciality tea.
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3. You can choose between a range of different business models
Because of the ubiquity of tea, there are many different types of tea franchise business you could launch. For example, you could choose to set up a tearoom or café, a stall or mobile drinks van, or an online retailer business selling your own brands. This choice gives you the freedom to set up the business to suit your lifestyle and ambitions. When you’re deciding, make sure you research not only the current state of the market and any gaps in it, but also your potential competitors and what makes them successful.
Once you’re up and running, the type of tea franchise business you’ve opted to launch will affect the marketing activity you carry out in your region. For example, if you’re targeting older people, an advert in the local newspaper or on a local radio station might work well, while younger consumers are more likely to see adverts posted on social media.
4. You can sell tea all day long
The level of demand for tea drinks isn’t affected by the time of day. People drink the comforting beverage day and night, so you’re likely to be welcoming a steady stream of customers through your doors. This is not only great for business, but it’s also handy on a practical level. While restaurants see a rush at lunch and dinner time, you’ll be able to spread your work throughout the day and will probably avoid particularly stressful periods.
As Diaz Ayub from National Tea Day says…
“Tea really is the only beverage which can be consumed 17 hours a day. Restaurants in particular are realising this and incorporating it across their menus right through breakfast, afternoon tea to dinner.”
In fact, Pukka has experienced significant sales growth in the UK, as consumers opt for brews like ‘Detox’ and ‘Night Time’, designed to relax you before bed. This shows tea is much more than a drink to accompany your breakfast cereal.
5. You can rely on regular customers
If a tea drinker enjoys buying their brew from your café, stall or store, they’re likely to visit on a regular basis. Humans are creatures of habit, and many people tend to nip into their favourite outlet for a steaming cup on their way to work. This means you’re likely to benefit from loyal customers who buy your products regularly.
Of course, you’ll need to set up your tea franchise business in the right way if you want to attract your customers in the first place. When you’re choosing your tea franchise, think about how your unit will operate. If you’re setting up a physical store, you’ll need to bag a site in a location with high consumer footfall.
6. You’ll have the opportunity to be ethical and sustainable
Consumers are increasingly on the lookout for businesses with ethical and sustainable credentials. As the owner of a tea business, you have the chance to impress your customers. When you’re deciding which tea franchise to join, do your research and make sure you’re investing in an ethical enterprise. And if you choose your own suppliers, narrow down your selection of reliable companies with fair operational standards.
Once you’ve made your selection, it’s time to develop a website; this will give you the chance to provide customers with more information. Explain the specific steps you’ve taken to make sure your activity doesn’t have a negative effect on the environment and that everyone involved in the supply chain is treated fairly.
The current state of the tea industry in the UK
Tea has always been a firm favourite among Brits, but now there are some new kids on the block. Fruit and herbal teas have seen a huge surge in popularity over the past few years, as more and more people recognise the benefits of a healthy brew. There are varieties to suit every taste and mood, incorporating a massive range of ingredients.
Marco Geraghty, Head of Research at National Tea Day, says young people are leading the charge when it comes to drinking alternative blends:
The perception of tea has changed massively among younger generations, it is now seen as a sensual and wellness drink.
Bubble tea is also seeing a growth in sales. Originally from Taiwan, this fun drink is particularly popular in Asia, but it’s now found fans in the UK. It’s served hot or cold and comes with chewy tapioca balls which are sucked up through a wide straw. Experts believe the bubble tea market will be worth £2.4 billion by 2023. So, it could be a good idea to try something a little different if you want to break into the tea sector. Why not browse our bubble tea franchise opportunities?
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Find out more
We have a number of different café and food franchises selling tea as part of their business model. Alternatively, check out our top three tea franchise opportunities to read more about your investment options.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©