Cup of tea anyone? There is nothing more quintessentially British than a proper cup of builder’s tea with a pile of yummy biscuits. Enjoying tea—whether out of a large mug or a dainty China cup and saucer—is so big in the UK that it has become a stereotypical quirk of the nation, one that is even recognized internationally. As the drink is so popular, there’s no surprise that there is a lot of competition between tea brands. But no English tea brand rankings - until now.
We thought it would be interesting to dive into the various tea brands to see which are the most well-known and which are the ones that the majority of Brits would consider using. It also gave us a chance to see if different audiences agreed on the brands they usually drink.
So, if you are a marketing or brand manager for any kind of beverage, you might want to pop the kettle on and settle down with a brew. You might find these insights from our survey of 1,000 people in Q2 2019 very interesting indeed!
English Tea Brand Rankings
English Tea Brand Awareness
As a nation of tea lovers, the UK has some established tea brands that have been popular for decades already. This is very much apparent when we take a look at the brand awareness results from our survey.
When asked whether or not they knew the brands in our list, a resounding 94% knew about PG Tips. Tetley also boasted a high score as 90% of respondents had heard of the brand. Other long-standing brands also came out with very strong brand awareness, like Yorkshire Tea (87%), Twinings (79%), and Typhoo (79%).
However, when we look at the brand awareness results of the brands that are quite newer to the market, it’s easy to see a big change in the English tea brand rankings. These new brands suffer from a much lower brand awareness. The two top-scorers from the newer brands were Pukka Herbs with 37% and Teapigs with 29%. Brew Tea had an awareness of 9%. As for the bottom two brands, Jacksons and Ahmad Tea, only 8% and 7% of our participants had heard about them, respectively.
English Tea Brand Consideration
You might think that British tea drinkers would be set in their ways and will only stick to their preferred brand of tea.
That might not be the case!
The long-standing tea brands still scored very highly when we asked our participants about their consideration. PG Tips came out top as 74% said they would consider drinking it. 70% said they would consider using Tetley and this was followed by 65% considering Yorkshire Tea. Twinings was the next highest with 58%.
We saw a big drop off when we studied the newer brands’ awareness. However, that isn’t the case with their consideration. The English tea brand rankings change a bit here. In fact, 50% of our respondents said they would consider Teapigs, Jacksons, Pukka Herbs, and Brew Tea. Slightly more (51%) would consider Ahmad Teas. Coming in at bottom of the pack was Typhoo as only 48% of our respondents would consider it.
This is quite surprising as it is considered a long-standing brand!
The brand consideration shows how many people would consider using them out of the percentage that has already shown some awareness in the previous results. There is a slight dip in the results for the more established brands, and this could be to do with most people already knowing what their favorite tea is. However, each brands’ marketing could equally be to blame as some consumers may be basing their first impressions of a brand of what they see in shops and advertisements. Marketing could be causing them to rank lower in the English tea brand rankings.
Tea Brands—Does Age Have an Effect?
There was one more thing we wanted to test. We had seen a theory that 37% of Brits aged 25-34 drink 5-6 different tea types. That’s in stark contrast to the 3% of 55+ who do the same. So, we wanted to see if our data showed this difference as well.
When we looked at the aided brand awareness for the same brands of tea with our 25-34-year-old participants, the pattern was fairly similar to what we had seen before. 94% had heard of PG Tips and 90% were aware of Tetley. Yorkshire Tea (83%) and Twinings (83%) had also scored highly. 82% knew of Typhoo too. So, the brand awareness was very high just like it was for the general population. If anything, awareness within this younger generation was slightly higher.
Next, let’s take a look at the newcomers to the tea world. Out of all our participants, 40% were aware of Pukka Herbs and 32% had heard of Teapigs. Brew Tea (9%), Jacksons (9%), and Ahmad Tea (7%) trailed far behind. This is exactly what we saw with the general population—some of the newer tea brands really struggled with brand awareness.
Now for the tea brand rankings amongst the 56-65 age group. The pattern was exactly what we have seen before as the top two brands were PG Tips and Tetley, with 94% and 89% of our participants having heard of them, respectively. In third place, 83% had heard of Twinings and the same number knew of Typhoo.
Now comes that slight drop off that we have come to expect for the newer brands. About 37% were aware of Pukka Herbs; 29% knew of Teapigs; 8% for both Brew Tea and Jacksons. Ahmad Tea came in bottom as only 7% had heard of the brand.
Even though there is a slight drop in consideration within this age group, it isn’t enough for it to be notable or show a big change.
Next, we took a look at how the brand consideration changed between the two age groups.
The pattern for the 25-34 age group was similar to what we have seen before. PG Tips came out winners again as 73% of respondents who had heard of the brand said they would consider it. The number for Tetley was 70% and for Yorkshire Tea, 65%. 59% of those who knew Twinings would consider them and 51% would for Ahmad. Jacksons, Teapigs, Brew Tea, and Pukka Herbs all came in with a 50% brand consideration. Typhoo had the worst brand consideration at 43%.
When we take a look at the results for the 56-65-year-olds, we can see that they are extremely similar. Once again, PG Tips is top with 73%; Tetleys takes second place with 70%; Yorkshire Tea is next with 64%. Twinings has a brand consideration of 57%, while Ahmad Tea boasts 51%. All of the remaining brands gained a consideration score of 50%.
There is hardly anything to say about these results as there is very little difference between the two age groups.
The Effect of Location on English Tea Brands
As age does not seem to have much of an effect on the awareness and consideration of English tea brands, we thought we’d have a quick Google to see if we could find out more about the “tea drinker persona”. There was little information about this, so we took an even closer look at our survey results.
Unfortunately, there were no discernible differences when splitting the results according to gender or income level.
One thing that did throw up some differences, though, was when we split the results according to our tea drinkers’ locations. Even though it is nothing major, when we did split the results by cities and rural areas, we saw that Tetley finally took the top spot away from PG Tips for the very first time in the aided brand awareness round! Another change to the English tea brand rankings.
In cities, though PG Tips still ruled supreme with 94%. Tetley still had an impressive brand awareness of 87% and Yorkshire Tea came in next with 85% 79% or our participants were aware of Twinings and 74% of Typhoo. At the bottom of the pack were Ahmad Tea (10%), Brew Tea (9%), and Jacksons (8%). Notice how this is the first time that Ahmad Tea doesn’t come in last place!
Looking at the rural results, this is where Tetley comes out top with 96%. PG Tips still doesn’t do too badly in second place with a 94% awareness. Yorkshire Tea is next with 92% and Typhoo has an awareness of 87%. Around 37% of our rural participants were aware of Pukka Herbs and 29% knew of Teapigs. Brew Tea came in at 9% with Jacksons just behind on an 8% awareness. Ahmad Tea was known to just 2% of survey respondents.
The results for brand consideration were not noteworthy, unfortunately.
One other thing we took a look at was whether individuals who watched more than three hours of TV a day had stronger brand awareness and consideration than those who watched less. Even though watching TV is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a strong cup of tea, we still found that this had little difference in the results.
What’s the Tea?
It looks like there are very few factors that actually have any influence over English tea brand rankings, especially in terms of brands’ awareness and consideration. Overall, it looks like the long-standing brands do perform better, though.
If there is anything that tea brand marketers can take away from this, it’s that they should continue to target these various target audiences in their marketing campaigns. The results hint at most tea drinkers being stuck in their ways, but by improving their branding and marketing strategies, they will be able to target any British tea drinker. And then they should be able to get more tea lovers on their side, no matter their age, location, or gender. It would be interesting to tune back in the same time next year and see do the English tea brand rankings change.