STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 4, Number 2

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64 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 2, 2015 (April/May) French Tea Market F By Barbara Dufrêne rance's tea market value is high with 30% by volume marketed by specialty tea companies that quadruple the import price through marketing special blends and unique packages worldwide. Though modest in quantity, France imports a large selection of the world's outstanding specialty teas—most sourced directly from origin. Imports of gourmet tea have grown threefold in the last 25 years. A more impres- sive statistic is that France earns an average $17.13 per kilo for exports. Among Eu- ropean nations, France ranks fourth in tea consumption at 15,000 metric tons with a relatively low 230 grams per capita. This is because 73% of the hot cups consumed in France are coffee with only 15% being tea and another 12% being hot cocoa as shown in the market study by XERFI (institut d'études économiques privé). In France loose leaf served hot has not been supplanted by sweetened bottled tea gulped on the go or by convenience store packets of instant tea. Women make up the main bulk of tea drinkers. Manufacturers are also investing in ways to attract younger tea drinkers and the senior population, which has a higher disposable income and is aware of tea's cultural and health benefits. Tea culture French retailers offer the largest choice of fine origin leaf teas on the continent, mak- ing it the most selective specialty tea market in the West according to French and for- eign tea market experts. Century-old proprietors carry 500 selections for discerning tea drinkers both domestic and from abroad. In 2010 France earned $37 million exporting mainly scented and fruit-flavoured teas to Italy, Switzerland, the U.S., and Japan. François-Xavier Delmas, founder and c.e.o of "Palais des Thés," launched in 1992, said that the culinary traditions in France are very longstanding, making consumers naturally aware of the link between a fine food and the place where it has been farmed and processed. This inherent understanding leads on to the desire to explore in greater depth and to appreciate fully, generating acceptance to pay higher prices for the premium quality of authentic teas, he explains. Palais des Thés started very early to focus on consumer education. The company's tea school was established more than 10 years ago, with all its courses fully booked every quarter. Thés George Cannon du jour

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