The French flavour company, based near Grasse, has previously offered a flavours for use in teas, but marketing manager Isabelle Mulet told Food Navigator.com that the new range, known as Aroma-T, is the first complete range available in organic, natural and natural identical versions, each with the same organoleptic properties. (The ‘nature identical’ flavours will be known simply as ‘flavours’ when the new flavour regulation comes into force, doing away with the former classification).
Flavours in the range include bergamot, lemon, orange, mint, jasmine, cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, apple, peach, pomegranate, red fruits, blackberry and exotic fruits.
Moreover, all the flavours are now available in granule format as well as a liquid, which is helpful for making flavoured tea bags. Dosage of the flavour granules in tea bags is low, at just 5 per cent, which helps keeps costs down.
The liquid versions, on the other hand, can be sprayed onto loose tea leaves before drying; they can also be used in cold ready-to-drink products such as iced tea and iced coffee.
Mulet told FoodNavigator.com that demand for flavoured teas has been growing, and while classic flavours like bergamot and orange are still popular, more unusual flavours such as pomegranate, pineapple and passion fruit are also attracting attention.
Euromonitor International projects that the global fruit/herbal tea market will be worth € 4487.6m by 2014. It describes these teas as “not derived from the tea plant or camellia sinesis plant”. While slimming teas and teas with specific medicinal benefits are excluded from the category, wellness teas are included – such as energy-boosting teas, calming teas, detox teas and ‘beauty-enhancing’ teas.
Data drawn from Mintel’s Global New Product Database indicate an increase in the flavoured tea products have been hitting the European market in the last five years. It lists some 122 new products in 2005, rising steadily to 175 in 2009. In 2010 so far 124 new products are listed.
Mintel’s database indicates that chamomile, bergamot and citrus teas are by far the most popular for new launches, followed by blackberry/cassis. Apple, and apple and cinnamon have also proved popular.
Amongst the most unusual flavours picked up by Mintel are anise, liquorice and mint; cherry and brandy; and cherry and chilli pepper. Many of the new teas in the database contain a blend of four of five different flavours.