RTD Teas Gaining Popularity One Sip at a Time

RTD Tea cropped

Every time of day is tea time in America, and honey has been a traditional all-natural sweetener in teas for hundreds of years. The ready-to-drink (RTD) tea market is booming, thanks to the functionality, nutritional benefits, and varying flavor profiles that come with varieties of teas combined with varietals of honey.

Beverage Industry reports that half the U.S. population drinks tea, amounting to 158 million people. Refrigerated RTD teas capped $1.6 billion in sales in May, a 9.1% increase from the year before. Mintel’s Tea and RTD Tea US Report findings of 2018 still ring true today: The RTD category “offers a variety of product formats and flavors and is suitable for numerous drinking occasions and serving options. This diversity appeals to a wide swath of consumers. Beyond broad appeal, tea also enjoys a strong frequency of consumption.”

RTD teas garnering popularity on grocery store shelves include kombucha, sparkling tea, refrigerated offerings, and those with “ongoing recognition of its healthy properties,” Beverage Industry noted. Consumers are shifting needs to products that provide a health halo, and all-natural honey is a familiar ingredient that carries positive consumer perceptions.

The future is bright for RTD teas, and through 2024, IBISWorld predicts beverage manufacturers that adapt to consumer health trends and expand into premium versions of existing lineups will thrive. Let’s take a look at some made with honey RTD teas on the market that are both delicious and functional. 

Teakoe Fizzy Black Tea
Mordor Intelligence reports that black tea is the most consumed variety of tea in North America, and Teakoe’s RTD Fizzy Black Tea is right on-trend. Made with honey, this tea is cold brewed with lemon juice and contains only 30 calories per can.

Photo Credit: Teakoe
Photo Credit: Honest

Honest Tea Jasmine + Honey

Debuted at Natural Products Expo East and on select shelves in January, this brand-new Jasmine + Honey tea is the latest in Honest Tea’s RTD line. The 46 oz. made with honey cold brew is in multi-serve PET bottles and is said to have “a smoother taste than non-cold brews.”

Argo Tea Carolina Honey
Honey lovers don’t have to have an Argo Cafe nearby. Carolina Honey is available in more than 15,000 stores nationwide, and the company says the reason for the RTD expansion is because it’s one of the most popular tea flavors. Carolina Honey is made with wildflower honey, black tea, and lemon.

Photo Credit: Argo Tea
Photo Credit: EnerBee

EnerBee Organic Energy Honey Infused Sparkling Hibiscus
EnerBee’s made with honey RTD tea line expanded with a new can design and 6-packs of the 12 oz. cans of energy tea. The made with honey varieties include Sparkling Hibiscus and Sparkling Lemon.

Herbal Mist Citrus Honey
Citrus Honey is part of Herbal Mist’s new low-calorie line, only containing 70 calories per bottle. Honey, citrus, Yerba Mate, and white tea combine to make this all-natural energy RTD tea.

Photo Credit: Herbal Mist

We want to hear from you! Which of these RTD teas are you most excited to try? Let us know in the comments!