We Are Tea’s - developed in collaboration with nutritionist Amanda Hamilton - are described as a range of ‘super teas’.
It includes formulations for ‘body balance’ with yerba mate, nettle, dandelion, ginger and fennel sea greens; ‘skin radiance’ with Echinacea, dandelion, nettle, mixed red berries and calendula petals; and ‘tummy relief’ with fennel, chamomile, lemon verbena, holy basil, mint and ginger.
Hamilton says the range was born out of a discussion she had with We Are Tea founder Daren Spence about developing tea blends for her well-being retreat events – but the pair quickly realised there was broader potential in the idea of tailored tea blends.
She said the idea has captured the attention of retailers, with the teas on shelf in UK supermarket Sainsbury’s for a recommended retail price of £3.49 (€4.12) for a pack of 12 tea bags.
Small, accessible help
“One of the core philosophies of We Are Tea is this ‘everyday good’ idea – it’s how you can help somebody in a small, every-day, accessible way, and tea is one of those ways.
"I think it’s a case of if you’re going to drink something hot five times a day, why not make it something that’s more helpful to your health, and a bit more personalised,” said Hamilton.
She said tea was a more practical delivery mechanism than products such as smoothies or fresh juices. But she also made clear the range was not claiming to “change everything”.
“I’ve pulled together ingredients with the strongest base of evidence I could find, and that also taste good – but we’re not saying this will solve your digestive disorder if you drink this.
"It’s more a case that this is something that is tailored with ingredients that are associated with specific health concerns – but over and above that, on their own they also stand up and taste great. I’d say it’s more for people who are interested in well-being, and also enjoy tea,” said Hamilton.
When asked about the health claims made on pack, and how they had been vetted to comply with EU rules, Hamilton referred the question to We Are Tea, saying only: “We obviously looked around extensively at other teas on the market, and what terminology and wording they used.”
We Are Tea was unable to comment in time for the publication of this article.
Offsetting millennial munching
This positioning as a 'lifestyle supplement' is in step with Mintel findings that younger consumers are increasingly looking to ‘detox’ products to offset their sometimes over indulgent eating habits.
“Detoxification benefits will continue to have potential, particularly amongst millennials and any consumers who subscribe to the ‘balance or bust’ approach to eating,” Mintel global food and drink analyst Jodie Minotto said.
“That the increase in launches of detox tea comes at a time when much growth in developed tea markets is being driven by tea based on botanical ingredients is no coincidence.
"Detox teas largely utilise botanical ingredients, as well as green tea, yerba mate and rooibos. The most commonly used ingredients include ginger, liquorice root, cardamom, nettle and mint,” she added.
Minotto said 71% of detox teas make digestive health claims, highlighting the focus these drinks have on not only being 'pure and natural', but also on expulsion of toxins from the body.
She said there was significant market interest in these kinds of tea.
“Detox teas feature in the core range of many hot tea brands, but typically niche, herbal tea brands such as Celestial Seasonings, Pukka and Yogi Tea. In recent years however, brands associated with standard black tea and mainstream usage have broadened their ranges to take advantage of the growth in tea varietals, herbal and fruit infusions," said Minotto.
“Most notably, Lipton launched a Detox tea in Portugal in 2015. It utilises herbal remedies such as meadowsweet, hibiscus and ash that they claim are traditionally used for detox. The brand joins its competitor Twinings, which added a Detox tea to their range several years ago.”