Company Taylors of Harrogate
Channel controller Greg Harvey
Profile Taylors of Harrogate is an independent family tea and coffee company from Harrogate in Yorkshire, offering a range of herbal and traditional products, including Yorkshire Tea.
Latest news In March, the company added a new Yorkshire Tea Biscuit Brew variety to its range of speciality brews. It is claimed to taste like tea and biscuits, with “a smattering of malty sweetness”.
With decaf, fruit and herbal teas just three of the products making waves in the hot drinks market, independent retailers need to rethink their displays to keep ranges up to date. Taylors of Harrogate’s channel controller, Greg Harvey, discusses the latest market trends
RN: What are the biggest hot drinks trends that independent retailers can make the most profit from?
GH: Firstly, retailers are telling us there is demand for premium products that are affordable and easy to use. That’s why stocking premium black teas and a good-quality coffee, including a roast and ground option such as our Rich Italian, is a key trend to consider.
Secondly, we’ve seen customers more engaged with the health benefits related to hot drinks, especially younger shoppers. Decaf and naturally caffeine-free options have increased in popularity, with decaf sales up 8.6% this year and Yorkshire Tea Decaf sales up by 24.8%.
Finally, choice is crucial – consumers’ repertoires evolve constantly as new flavours emerge all the time. Having a diverse mix of hot drinks is vital for catering for a wide demographic and maximising sales.
RN How has the herbal tea sector developed this year?
GH: The fruit and herbal tea category has gained a lot of attention recently because consumers are looking for caffeine-free options or widening their drinks repertoire.
The market is still small compared with standard black tea, but it’s growing at 4.8%. There are also plenty of new flavours and innovations in the market, such as cold infusions.
RN: What ranging and merchandising advice would you give to ensure retailers’ displays attract sales?
GH: We’d recommend retailers to increase displays, secondary locations and promotions to influence shoppers, and provide a range of products to appeal to all shoppers.
It’s also a good idea to place hot drinks near complementary or other impulsive categories, such as biscuits and confectionery, to maximise impulse sales. It’s crucial that retailers pay close attention to listings – stocking our Yorkshire Tea 40s and 80s pricemarked packs offers value to shoppers, for example.
RN: What new products have you launched this year, or do you plan to launch?
GH: In March, we added Yorkshire Tea Biscuit Brew to our range of speciality brews. We’ve also been concentrating on Taylors of Harrogate Coffee Bags because we noticed coffee drinkers are no longer satisfied with instant coffee, but still want fuss-free options.
RN: What are the biggest mistakes retailers make with hot drinks?
GH: Retailers are doing a brilliant job in tough conditions. The market has changed a great deal in recent years, especially in terms of leading brands and products, so it’s all too easy to have an offering that is no longer optimal.
We’d recommend retailers make the most of the latest category advice on our Brew View website in order to stay on the front foot.
RN: Last month, Whitbread announced a decline in coffee sales, which it attributed to lower footfall. Could independent retailers benefit from this?
GH: Whitbread announcing a decline in sales emphasises the competitive advantage that many independents have; most are located in high footfall areas meaning they are ideally placed
to draw consumers in and maximise sales.
A lot of independents are also located out of city centres, in residential areas which are more convenient for some and have the advantage of attracting additional impulse sales. However, independents will have to ensure they have the right products in order to benefit.
Read more: Heat up your hot drinks sales