Brewing up some soft drink trends

Regular readers might remember this post from June 2011, about bubble tea as TNBT. Yesterday’s i covered the drink, saying that it’s now reached a “sipping point” in the UK.

Back in June last year, there were just two bubble tea outlets in London, but this has grown a fair bit and there is a bubble tea stall in Manchester’s Arndale Centre. There are probably quite a few more elsewhere too.

Assad Khan, the man behind Bubbleology [he came across bubble tea in New York in 2005 and decided to try it out in the UK… and is now looking at overseas expansion in places like Kuwait and Switzerland], has noticed that when they first opened in Soho, most of the customers were “Asian” (referring to the far east). Now, the majority are British and European women aged 18-30.

From TNBT to a mainstream trend in just over a year.

Mintel’s Alex Beckett says that teas with health benefits are growing strongly, so i’s Neela Debnath predicts that “perhaps the next big thing in tea will be a product related to dieting or well-being”.

One to watch.

Here are some other trendy soft drinks that i has spotted:

Coconut water – this one’s been around for a little while, but the celebrity endorsement/involvement keeps it in the media spotlight.

Zeo – a “grown-up tipple” served in “smart bars”, this is a clear drink “flavoured with berries, herbs and spices”.

Fanta Furufuru Shaker – only big in Japan at the moment, this is a “drinkable jelly” – “shake the can vigorously before you open it and it comes out fizzy”. Sounds fun!

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