The retail ready-to-drink (RTD) tea and coffee category found itself in a good news/bad news situation over the past year. Overall, the category recorded decent dollar sales growth, up 2.7% to $6,987.3 million during the 52 weeks ending Aug. 9, 2020, according to data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI. However, unit sales took a 2.8% dive to 2,962.0 million.


Mixed results for tea

The largest subcategory within the segment, canned and bottled tea, also posted mixed results. Dollar sales climbed 1.0% to $3,997.0 million, but unit sales fell 4.6% to 1,981.7 million.

Faring the best among the top 10 brands was Lipton Diet. The brand’s dollar sales rose 8.2%. Unit sales jumped 5.1%.

Losing the most ground was Monster Rehab, which saw dollar sales fall 19.8% and unit sales plunge 20.2%.

Things looked quite sunnier for refrigerated RTD tea. Dollar sales within the subcategory jumped 7.3% to $1,760.6 million. Unit sales increased 3.9% to 706.4 million.

Milo’s led the top 10 brands in sales growth. Its dollar sales jumped 20.9%; unit sales were up 16.1%.

Meanwhile, GTS Kombucha Synergy saw steep declines. Dollar and unit sales fell 9.3% and 9.2%, respectively.


Impressive growth for coffee

On the RTD coffee side, the cappuccino/iced coffee subcategory posted positive results. Dollar sales increased 5.0% to $2,990.3, and unit sales rose 1.2% to 980.3.

Starbucks Tripleshot certainly contributed to the segment’s positive performance. The brand’s dollar and unit sales skyrocketed 182.1% and 178.6%, respectively.

The plain-old Starbucks brand, however, lost significant ground. Dollar sales were down 31.8%, while unit sales fell 36.3%.

Meanwhile, the smaller RTD refrigerated coffee subcategory really took off. Dollar sales jumped 25.7% to $520.5 million, while unit sales increased 22.1% to 122.2 million.