Changing Millennial Tastes Could Brew Trouble for Iced Tea

Young people today just aren’t that into it.

Homemade Iced Tea with Lemons

Homemade Iced Tea with Lemons

Photo by: Brent Hofacker

Brent Hofacker

Is millennials’ craving for cold brew and kombucha and love for LaCroix and other sparkling waters taking its toll on iced tea? Are sales of bottled iced tea set to sink like soda sales (so sad)?

A recent survey of U.S. adults ages 18 to 34 conducted by YouGov BrandIndex, which measures brand perception across various product sectors, found that, over the past two years, they are losing their taste for once popular iced tea beverages like Lipton, Nestea, Crystal Light and, yes, even the ubiquitous Snapple.

What’s more, according to the survey, which asked millennials whether they had "a positive or negative impression" of iced tea, the downward trend has accelerated in recent months – with only Arizona Iced Tea holding relatively stable.

Millennials’ interest in buying iced tea was also down – decreasing from 23 percent who said they’d consider purchasing an iced tea the next time they bought a beverage in January 2016 to 18 percent in January 2018.

What gives? YouGov BrandIndex suspects "millennial interest in personal health and their aversion to sugar" may have turned them off bottled ice teas, which have a sugary rep, as their interest in bottled waters and drinks deemed "healthy" has increased.

In other words, millennials have soured on sweetened drinks and sweetened on unsweetened drinks, which could spell trouble (with a capital T) for bottled iced tea.

Photo: iStock

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