Anyone looking to start an iced tea beverage company must first understand how to design and formulate their beverage. Iced tea drink design is the process of creating a unique recipe that considers the flavor, color, and consistency you want your iced tea to have. Your iced tea drink formulation will help mass produce your iced tea recipe so it can be manufactured and distributed by your beverage co-packer on a large scale.
The growing demand of health-conscious consumers and the popularity of iced tea have made it one of the most profitable beverage segments in recent years. In the United States, iced tea accounts for 85% of all tea consumed in the U.S., and as a result, starting an iced tea company has become a popular entrepreneurial endeavor.
Tea helps improve mental alertness, lower cholesterol levels, and prevent heart disease and cancer. These health benefits, combined with the delicious, refreshing taste of iced tea, have made it a favorite beverage choice for consumers looking for a healthy alternative to sugary soft drinks.
A go-to-market strategy is essential to set your iced tea business for success. This strategy will determine how you’ll position your iced tea in the market, who your target consumers are, and how you’ll distribute your iced tea products. Read on for four actionable steps to start an iced tea beverage company.
What Is Iced Tea?
Iced tea is a chilled beverage made by brewing tea leaves in hot water, then adding ice cubes or chilling the tea in a refrigerator. It can be unsweetened or sweetened with sugar, honey, or artificial sweeteners and is usually served over ice in a glass.
The 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis is credited with popularizing iced tea in the United States. At the fair, Richard Blechynden, a merchant and tea plantation owner, was looking for a way to cool down the hot tea he was serving to fair-goers. He added ice cubes to the tea – and people loved it, driving his sales up.
Iced tea comes in many different flavors, including:
- Black tea
- Green tea
- White tea
- Oolong tea
- Chamomile tea
- Ginger tea
- Hibiscus tea
- Pu’erh tea
Each of these teas can be enjoyed on its own or combined with fruit-flavored syrups, spices, and herbs to create unique flavor profiles.
Benefits of Drinking Iced Tea
Iced tea is more than just a refreshing beverage – it also offers several health benefits. The antioxidants, polyphenols, level of caffeine content, and vitamin concentrations in iced tea make it a healthy drink option. Here are the top proven health benefits of iced tea:
Reduces Chronic Diseases Risk
Iced tea is rich in flavonoids – antioxidants linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Flavonoids neutralize harmful free radicals in the body that can damage cells, cause inflammation, and lead to chronic illness.
Boosts the Immune System
The high concentrations of vitamins and minerals in iced tea help stimulate the immune system and fight off infection. Iced tea is a good source of vitamin C, which is essential for a strong immune system.
Aids in Weight Loss
Iced tea is a calorie-free beverage that can help with weight loss, especially if you’re used to sugary soft drinks. It can also help boost metabolism and promote fullness, making you less likely to overeat or crave sugary snacks.
Improves Mental Alertness
The caffeine in iced tea can help improve mental alertness and cognitive function and enhance physical performance by mobilizing fatty acids from fat tissues and making them available for use as energy.
Iced tea’s high antioxidant content helps to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can benefit people with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis.
4 Actionable Steps on How to Start an Iced Tea Beverage Company
The iced tea market is projected to hit $11,386.2 million by 2032, so there’s never been a better time to start your own iced tea business. Follow these 4 actionable steps to launch a successful iced tea company.
1. Conduct Market Research to Understand the Current Iced Tea Landscape
Market research is essential to understand the current landscape and how your iced tea company can be positioned for success. This research will help you determine the most promising iced tea markets, understand what consumers are looking for, and develop marketing and sales strategies.
What’s the current trend in iced tea? Is it fruity flavors, health-focused options, or something else entirely? What’s the competition like? How much are consumers willing to spend on iced tea?
Answering these questions will provide reliable data to make informed decisions about your iced tea business.
2. Develop a Unique Iced Tea Recipe or Product idea
You’ll need to develop a unique iced tea recipe or product to stand out from an already crowded market. This could be a new flavor combination, an innovative packaging design, or a health-focused iced tea. Adding functional ingredients like vitamins, herbs, and minerals can help your iced tea product stand out.
Let your creativity flow and come up with an iced tea recipe or product that will make heads turn. If stuck, your beverage formulation expert can help with iced tea drink formulation. Their expertise and experience can be invaluable in developing a unique and marketable iced tea product.
3. Create an Iced Tea Brand That Connects with Consumers
Your iced tea company will need a strong, recognizable brand to be successful. This begins with creating a brand identity that reflects the essence of your iced tea company. Your logo, packaging design, website, and social media presence should align with your brand identity.
Your brand should also be built on a foundation of trust. Be transparent with your customers about your ingredients, sourcing, and manufacturing process.
Answer their questions and address their concerns. This will help build consumer trust and loyalty and turn your customers into brand advocates.
4. Partner with a Reliable Iced Tea Co-Packer and Manufacturer
You’ll need to partner with a reliable and reputable iced tea co-packer to get your iced tea products on store shelves. They will be responsible for iced tea drink design, iced tea drink formulation, manufacturing, packaging, and labeling.
A good iced tea co-packer will guide you through the product development process, offer insights and suggestions, and ensure your iced tea products meet all food safety regulations.
When choosing an iced tea co-packer, visit their facility, meet their team, and get a feel for their culture. You should also request references from their previous clients and ask about their working relationship with the beverage co-packer to avoid surprises down the road.
These actionable steps will get you on your way to launching a successful iced tea business. Remember to stay on top of iced drink beverage trends, be creative, and build a strong iced tea brand that consumers can connect with.
Position Your Ice tea Company for Success with Professional Beverage Formulation Experts
Starting your own iced tea drink company is a huge undertaking, but with the proper knowledge and partners, it can be a rewarding and profitable venture. MetaBrand is home to top beverage formulation and manufacturing experts and will help bring your iced tea vision to life through expert iced tea drink design and formulation.
We’ve helped launch some of the most successful iced tea companies on the market and will extend the same level of commitment and expertise to your business. Get in touch with us today and experience the MetaBrand difference.
The target market for tea can vary depending on the type of tea and the brand, but generally includes health-conscious individuals, those seeking relaxation or stress relief, and people looking for a tasty alternative to sugary drinks. Tea is also popular among different age groups, cultures, and lifestyles.
In the US, tea is not as popular as coffee, but it is still consumed regularly by many Americans. According to a survey conducted by the Tea Association of the USA, millennials are the largest consumers of tea in America, followed by Generation X and Baby Boomers. The survey also found that 87% of Americans drink tea, with black tea being the most popular variety.
Some current trends are cold brew iced tea, sparkling/carbonated iced tea, organic/natural iced tea, and exotic fruit-flavored iced teas.
Quality control procedures like supplier audits, ingredient testing, metal detection, micro testing for food safety pathogens, and sensory evaluation for taste.
Shelf life is affected by ingredients, packaging, storage temperature, light exposure, and more. Preservatives and proper storage help extend shelf life.