Oolong tea is highly grown in China, and the tea is a partly oxidized green tea which can range from green and black tea. Oolong is one of the most diversified tea and can be found in different varieties having distinct flavors and color. The popularity of this Chinese tea has grown in the recent past in regions of Europe and North America. There are several varieties of oolong such as the Dan Cong which is the one of the higher grades of oolong tea and is often sold at premium prices. Another variety known as big red robe because of its deep flavor, is more oxidized oolong tea, and has a black tea appearance, this variety is one of the most widely available oolongs. The popularity of each variety is growing with a rise in healthy eating and drinking trends and is estimated to drive a strong growth in the global oolong tea market in the forecast period.
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The global oolong tea market is segmented on the basis of its product type, nature, distribution channel, and region. The product type segment of oolong tea includes verities of oolong tea including; Big red robe, iron buddha, dan cong tea, ali shan, other oolong varieties.
Based on nature of oolong tea, the matket is segmented as organic oolong tea and conventional oolong tea. Furthermore, based on the distribution channel, global oolong tea market is segmented as direct sales, online retail, supermarkets/hypermarkets, and specialty stores including natural food stores. Among which, sales through the Internet is expected to grow which is due to the increasing popularity of the health teas such as oolong, and matcha tea on social media. Specialty stores are also expected to increase its revenue shares over the forecast period due to the increase in number of establishments in Western European and North American region.
In China, consumption increased at a significant rate over the decade, and accounted for approximately one third of world tea consumption. India, with the second highest consumption was the second largest tea consumer this year, accounting for approximately one fifth of the global total. This rise is tea consumption is significant to the growth of allied tea segments including oolong tea. On the basis of regions, the oolong tea market is segmented as following key regions; North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Asia Pacific, Japan Middle East and Africa.
Rising awareness among consumers about health benefits associated with consumption of natural products such as oolong tea, which helps in detoxifying body, fortifies the immune system, helps in regulating cholesterol level, and others are some of the major factors expected to likely affect consumer’s decision to buy oolong tea. Currently, consumers are more inclined towards self-medication due to rising penetration of Internet and social media. These factors are expected to drive growth of the market for oolong tea globally over the forecast period. Awareness about harmful effects of food products that are chemically processed is increasing among consumers. As an alternative to these, more people are turning towards organic food products. For instance organic oolong tea is among the treading tea products available in the market. Chinese cuisines have witnessed high demand in the markets of U.S and Europe with food and beverages such as noodles, Chinese dumplings, and most popular among these is the Chinese tea. The Chinese tea is gaining popularity for being healthy food products. The demand for Chinese tea particularly oolong tea has been on a rise particularly in the U.S.
Consumers are spending more on tea beverage product as compared to tea alone, which indicates that consumers are shifting their preferences to a more convenient style of tea consumption. The green tea beverages with high popularity include cold brewed oolong tea. Owing to this factors, several large beverage companies such as Ito En have expanded the production and marketing of ready to drink (RTD) teas including RTD oolong tea.
Some of the key players participating in the global oolong tea market includes; Bigelow Tea Company, Twinings (Associated British Foods), Ceylon Organic Ltd., Teas and Thes (China) Ltd., Sierra Tea, Arbor Teas, Unilever PlC., Republic of Tea, Dilmah, Townshend’s Tea Company The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. ITO En., among others.