Trend spotting emerging flavours in tea
The daily cuppa is a hugely dynamic area as consumers look to new flavours and ways of drinking tea. Unilever needed to understand what new product opportunities these developments offered its brands.
It wanted to know if people were combining Unilever tea brands, like Lipton, with other flavours? Also, it was curious about the contexts in which these flavours were emerging, and how this should inform product launches.
To answers its questions, we developed two methods for surfacing data: one around known flavours, and the other around different contexts for drinking tea.
Combining these two methods with sales and R&D data, a shortlist of more than 30 flavours was produced. This was then mapped to the historic growth of flavour trends that have emerged in the past two years, such as matcha. This gave growth curves that could be mathematically modelled to predict which of the shortlist could become popular.
Eleven emerging flavour trends were identified – some new and unheard of, and others established flavours that could be used in new ways. Those that show the same growth traits and trajectories as previously successful flavours are being prioritised by Unilever’s R&D pipeline, fuelled by the confidence that they are more likely to be successful when launched.