Tea gets a wellness boost as Hain, Twinings aim to wake up the category

As executives at Hain Celestial traversed parts of the U.S. talking to shoppers about tea in 2018, they quickly realized their understanding of who was consuming the beverage needed to evolve. 

Following a national tour spanning four different markets, the organic and natural products company observed that the drink had caught on with fresh-out-of-college, young adults who would have seemed more likely to settle down with a beer and plate of chicken wings in the evening than a hot cup of its calming Sleepytime tea.

Dubbed internally as the "Sleepytime bros," the discovery prompted Hain Celestial to expand its marketing of the brand to younger consumers while accelerating the expansion of a newer line of wellness teas to keep people in the category as they age. More than four in five consumers drink tea, according to the Tea Association of the U.S.A. Among all age groups, millennials are the most likely to drink tea, with 87% consuming it.

"It was absolutely part of the inspiration [for the new teas] and it kind of made us believers in addressing this demographic with a benefit-forward platform," said Tim Collins, the general manager of Hain's Celestial Seasonings, the New York company's tea business. "We really started to see the opportunity ... that maybe we didn't realize prior." 

Celestial Seasonings has been in the tea business for more than 50 years, carving out a powerful franchise with its Sleepytime brand built on herbs, teas, spices and botanicals, including chamomile, spearmint and lemongrass.

But as consumers started searching for teas with more health benefits, Celestial Seasonings launched its Tea Well line in 2019 before expanding it two years later by adding varieties such as Mood Tonic, Sleep with melatonin, and Gut Health, which features a blend of prebiotics, probiotics and fiber.

"The everyday black and green or matcha tea, they will be staples, they will be core. But the expansion is really coming from SKUs that have benefits to them, specifically to the unique need states that someone is looking for."


Chris Boever

Chief commercial officer, Hain Celestial