Tea Board will commission a study on patterns of domestic consumption of the beverage in the coming years and how to increase it in the face of rising production, an official said.
The official said the Tea Board will appoint an agency which will conduct an in-depth study on how to increase domestic consumption of tea over the coming years, adding that it will be carried out across the country by taking random samples.
In 2021, the domestic consumption volume of tea was around 1100 million kg.
According to the official, in spite of having a big domestic consumption base, per capita intake of beverage in the country is low when compared to global standards.
India is the second largest producer of tea after China. In 2021, the total consumption of tea was 1,145 million kg, out of total production of around 1,330 million kg, registering a rise from 1,257 million kg in 2020.
The official said tea is generally considered as a commodity due to its low price, adding that it can be positioned as a refreshing drink. Owing to its low price, people consider coffee as a symbol for social status. The official said regarding awareness, Assam Tea and Darjeeling Tea are the most recognized by virtue of their origin as compared to Nilgiri Tea.
P K Bhattacharya, secretary-general of Tea Association of India (TAI), a leading body of producers, said domestic consumption has to increase on face of rising production.
“There has to be a balance between production and consumption. This is mainly because exports, which went upto a high of 255 million kg in 2019, is now around 200 million kg”.