Wellness in 2021 is on everyone’s wish list.
Sending a gift of tea, lovely teaware, or handy utensils is a thoughtful expression of care.
Tea has played an essential role in enhancing the well-being of tea drinkers from the onset of COVID-19. As infections soared, sales of tea reached new records. In Canada, tea was the fastest-growing of the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sold in grocery stores. In the UK, people stocked up on tea for its calming attributes and for the comfort it brings to those homebound for months at a time.
The UK Tea and Infusions Association (UKTIA) found that 43% of 18-24-year-olds said the pandemic and lockdown living led to tea.
UKTIA Chief Executive Dr. Sharon Hall writes that “Our analysis of real-world data from the past three years has shown that half of those under 30 say they are drinking more tea now because of home working – compared with around a third of 45–59 year-olds.
Whole leaf tea is scientifically proven to provide a powerful boost of plant-based goodness the body uses to defend itself. A new theory suggests green tea catechins are not passive antioxidants but pro-oxidants that act in ways like a vaccination to strengthen cells against attack by free radicals.
While the global pandemic still threatens, as of November, fully half of the world’s population has received at least one vaccination. Approvals of antiviral pills mean fewer lives will end tragically in hospitals overwhelmed during surges and waves.
In time, the coronavirus will become endemic.
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Tea Boosts Mental Well Being
Consumer behavior regarding alcohol led to significant increases in consumption, amounting to £1.9 billion in additional sales during the first year of lockdowns as #pandemicdrinking trended. Millennials, according to a study by Sheffield University, turned away from drinking alcohol. Their drink alternative? Tea.
Academic researchers at MDPI studying beverage consumption during the pandemic found that “confinement has resulted in a disruption of work routines, boredom, depression, and changes in eating habits, among them consumption of coffee and tea. While no clear trend in coffee consumption during the coronavirus pandemic emerged, tea consumption increased (70% versus 30%) based on a narrative review of published work.
“Tea affects psychopathological conditions (e.g., reduced anxiety), cognition (e.g., benefits in memory and attention), and brain function (e.g., activation of working memory). Yet such benefits are not attributable to a single constituent, and better gains yielded by the synergy of caffeine and L-theanine
are reported as compared to their separate administration,” according to researchers.
“We already knew millennials were driven by wellness but it’s now clear their purchasing behavior is disrupting the category giving a boost in sales to untraditional tea products which host an array of functional benefits. The ‘aware’ consumer demands sustainable and ethically sourced products,” writes Marco Geraghty author of Modern Tea Trends 2019. “Tea occasions at fine hotels have changed from indulgence and gluttony to one of sensuality and mindfulness,” he writes.
As the world returns to a cautious normal, tea is the perfect drink to weather what we all hope will be the last pandemic winter.
Advent Calendars Evoke a Sense of Anticipation
Advent Calendars offering a selection of teas are hot in 2021.
This season there are Godiva chocolate Advent calendars, a-sip-a-day Scotch whiskey calendar, a cosmetic calendar from Yves Saint Laurent valued at $680, and for gents 12 trays of male grooming products including Barber Pro a post-shave cooling mask. There are countdowns to Christmas featuring scented shower steamers, a calendar with 12 votive candles including pumpkin spice latte, and Panjore lychee. There are Harry Potter, and Marvel character calendars and a Lego “Star Wars” Advent calendar — even an Advent calendar for your pup with 24 dog treats from Wufers.
One of our favorites is from DAVIDsTEA which packs its teas into adorable tins, each brewing 16 ounces of blends like Santa’s Secret, Sleigh Ride, North Star, and Zest Wishes. There is also a calendar of caffeine-free teas. But be sure to also check out the selection from India-based Vahdam teas and Teabox as well as Paris-based Mariage Freres, Palais Des Thes, and London’s Fortnum & Mason.
Happy Healthy Holidays