Flavored iced or cold tea is the new craze that's sweeping America. Many say these are the new Cokes. These are basic black tea that's jazzed up with fruit or herbal infusions, and drank cold from tall glasses, cans or resealable bottles.
In the past decade and a half, the ready-to-drink iced tea market has ballooned from just $200 million to over $2 billion in annual sales, according to the president of the Tea Association of the U. S. A. Americans do seem to prefer to drink their tea iced or cold, sweet, and enhanced with other flavors. Consequently, the iced or cold variety makes up more than 85% of all tea sales in the United States.
Observers point out that the health benefits associated with the beverage are luring many people toward cold tea drinks and away from carbonated soda and even sugar-rich fruit juices. Tea is considered an excellent source of immune system-building antioxidants.
But this phenomenon isn't unique to the United States. In Asia, iced or cold tea is available almost everywhere and many people are often seen on the streets sipping bottles of these beverages. However, the flavored version of the green variety is the preferred drink in the Orient whereas flavored black tea holds court in America.
As health consciousness spreads to the mainstream, the flavored iced/cold tea market is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the years to come. It's not impossible to foresee a future where these might eventually surpass cold soda drinks in popularity.
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