Changing Millennial Tastes Could Brew Trouble for Iced Tea

Young people today just aren’t that into it.

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

Next Up

Dunkin’ Is Putting Booze In Its Iced Coffees and Teas

The new Dunkin’ Spiked line puts an 'adult beverage' twist on classic Dunkin' coffee and tea drinks.

Taste Test: Bottled Lemon Iced Tea

Looking for a refreshing beverage to beat the summer heat? See the results of this taste test before popping open a bottle of sweetened iced tea.

Are Millennials Changing the Chocolate Industry?

Yes, they are, according to a new National Confectioners Association report.

Iced Tea, Lightened Up

A tall glass of iced tea is perfect is perfect for chilling -- and re-hydrating -- in the summer heat. You can make a large batch in no time (please, none of that powder stuff!), but knowing what to put in it is the important part. Here are some mixtures to try.

Tea Time: Celebrate National Iced Tea Day

Break out the iced tea on June 10 to celebrate National Iced Tea Day with these healthy iced teas.

It's National Iced Tea Month

June is National Iced Tea Month -- so get out your tall glasses and ice cubs and celebrate the warm weather by pouring yourself a home-brewed glass of iced tea.

Iced Tea: Cutting The Sugar

Celebrate National Iced Tea month this June by stirring up a batch of this summer favorite. We’ll tell you how to sweeten this classic drink without going overboard on sugar.

How to Make Iced Tea

Learn how to make homemade iced tea with this simple how-to from Food Network.

Food Fight! Lemonade vs. Iced Tea

Looking to quench your thirst with one of these summertime classics? First, check out which drink came out on top in this battle of the beverages.

The Perfect Iced Tea — Food Network Kitchens

Get the recipe for the perfect recipe for cold brewed iced tea, hot brewed tea and sweet tea.

What's New