The Japanese population is taking to refinements in their packaged green tea. The bottled varieties are getting closer to the real thing with efforts being put in to make the beverage more turbid than clear. Yes, turbid green tea is here to stay and we have stats to prove it as well.
Apparently Suntory Beverages & Food Ltd plans on making their popular brand Iemon, more turbidly appealing by adding powdered tea and make it richer in taste. The craze for hazy tea was triggered in 2007 when the bagged green tea market saw a growth of 5% and notched up to 30% of market share. A survey by Suntory shows that beverage consumers prefer a richer taste in drinks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks included, as long as they are priced the same as before.
Coca-Cola (Japan) Co.’s tea brand Ayataka, was a trend-setting influence in turbid tea. A survey conducted by Inryo Soken, which is a marketing research company, shows that Ayataka’s market share in bottled green tea in rose to third place with 14% market share in 2011. Ito En’s Oi Ocha holds a 39% stake in the market and Iemon holds 23% share. Although Ito En prefers to focus on clear tea, the consumer preference for a richer taste has prompted the company to launch Nigori Maroyaka, a slightly turbid tea, which is a derivative of Oi Ocha and Futte Oishi ‘Kyoto Uji Matcha-iri Ryokucha. Japan Tobacco Inc. too has added turbidity to its tea brand Tsujiri.