Selling tea in Asia? Why this is a big opportunity for foreign brands

Tea has been regularly enjoyed in Asia for millennia. Pu’er, Darjeeling, and Japanese green tea are all world famous. This has made tea big business in the region. According to Statista sales of tea in Asia will reach more than US$150 billion in value in 2021 with enjoy year-on-year growth of nearly 7% through 2025. The unique flavors from across Asia have made tea popular in other parts of the world yet the region is both a source of tea and growing demand.

Can I sell Tea in Asia? Yes!

At first glance breaking into the Asian market may seem counterintuitive given the presence of so many strong local brands and options. Yet it’s also this strong demand for tea coupled with an increasing desire for different options that makes Asia a ready market for foreign tea brands. Many Scandinavian brands, for example, a region less known for teas, are using fruits and other flavors indigenous to these northern European countries and finding enthusiastic consumers in Asia. Innovative ready-to-drink teas from the United States, Australia, and other countries are similarly enjoyed.

Anyone familiar with milk tea culture in Asia, popularized by Taiwan, will also know that adding different flavors—such as brown sugar, pomelo, etc.) and textures (tapioca pearls, coconut bits, pudding, etc.) to basic teas has been happening for years in the region and is wildly popular.

What is the outlook for foreign tea brands in Asia?

Urbanization and the fast-paced lifestyles that come with it are also driving demand for tea in ready-to-drink forms, delivering a tasty easy-drinking experience to tea lovers constantly on the move. Outside of the region, Asia is typically viewed as being quite traditional. Although this is true in many respects, tastes, culture, and consumers’ openness to new experiences are also rapidly and continually evolving.

Tea brands not already in Asia should already be planning for expansion into the region. No matter the flavor, branding, or texture there are Asian consumers waiting to enjoy their teas.

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