Brits still love their afternoon tea

traditional afternoon tea

Independent retailers can capitalise on the afternoon tea trend by offering a strong range of tea and biscuits, perhaps merchandising the two categories together to pick up those afternoon tea sales.


Afternoon tea is a British tradition that goes back nearly 200 years, an opportunity to take a short break from work and have some tea and biscuits.

It is becoming increasingly popular for restaurants to offer afternoon tea, a trend which is set to be replicated at home and in the office.

Although the tea market has exploded with a host of new flavours over the past few years, black tea with milk is still the nation’s favourite brew.

“We would always recommend that a retailer’s offering includes the traditional black tea, like our much-loved Yorkshire Tea or premium Yorkshire Gold – a firm favourite for an afternoon tea!” comments Greg Harvey, Channel Controller, Taylors of Harrogate.

Taylors of Harrogate has been hearing from convenience and independent retailers that there is a desire for premium quality 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 like our Rich Italian, is key for retailers to consider,” says Harvey. “Yorkshire Tea is now the nation’s second biggest standard black tea brand* due to its dedication to making a proper brew. Our premium variant, Yorkshire Gold, is a great addition to the fixture for customers wanting to trade up.”

Over the last few years, consumers have become more engaged with the health benefits related to drinking hot drinks, especially from those in a younger demographic. Decaf and naturally caffeine-free options have increased in popularity, with customers willing to pay more, as they see these options as permissible treats. Decaf tea sales are up 2% this year and Yorkshire Tea Decaf is driving category growth and outperforming the sector with sales up 24.6 % (IRI).

“Yorkshire Tea Decaf doesn’t compromise on the well-known and much-loved taste or quality, so Yorkshire Tea lovers needn’t miss out on their favourite brew,” adds Harvey. “We’re always looking for ways to support the convenience and independent sector and that’s why we introduced our Yorkshire Tea Decaf PMP in February 2018.”

The PMP is a 40s pack priced at £1.89 and is an ideal size and price for independent and convenience retailers.

“It’s important to cater for the everchanging market by offering inventive flavours and decaf and herbal options, as well as more traditional favourites,” recommends Harvey. “When merchandising tea, retailers should ensure there is a wide range of biscuits and cakes alongside the tea offering to make the customer’s buying experience as easy as possible.

“Stocking price-marked packs is a great way to give shoppers confidence in the store’s pricing in comparison to larger outlets, so it is important wholesalers and retailers incorporate them into their afternoon tea offering.”

TV ads

As the nation’s second biggest standard black tea brand, Yorkshire Tea aims to continuously raise awareness of its brand values.

The brand invested £3 million in advertising its most recent ‘Where everything’s done proper’ TV campaign staring two of Yorkshire’s other finest exports.

Acting legend Sean Bean and world-renowned magician Dynamo star in the adverts which once again see Yorkshire Tea recruiting new members of staff in comical scenarios that show their jobs being done proper.

Sean conducts a proper staff induction taking inspiration from his iconic film characters while Dynamo works his magic in the Yorkshire Tea warehouse without a fork lift in sight.

The adverts were both filmed at Yorkshire Tea’s warehouse and offices in Knaresborough with employees from across the business starring alongside Yorkshire Tea’s new recruits.

This is the second instalment in the ‘Where everything’s done proper’ advert series which launched in 2017 starring Sir Michael Parkinson, the Kaiser Chiefs and the Brownlee Brothers. The new ads are part of a £3m TV campaign that will see them aired to millions of viewers over the next 2 years.

Ben Newbury, Senior Brand Manager at Yorkshire Tea said: “We’re chuffed to bits with these new adverts and hope everyone loves them as much as we do. Sean Bean and Dynamo are experts in their crafts and truly epitomise the art of ‘doing things properly’ – an ethos that is central to absolutely everything we do here at Yorkshire Tea. We’re so pleased we could recruit them to help spread the message of properness.”