Ceylon Tea demonstration and tasting in South Africa
The Sri Lankan High Commission in South Africa, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tea Board, organised a “Ceylon Tea demonstration and tasting” event at Brooklyn Mall on 27 March 2021. Representing the tea traders, two leading Ceylon Tea brands in South Africa, Dilmah and Basilur, joined hands with the Mission to demonstrate their new and existing products.
Ambassador of Russia Ilya Ragachev, Ambassador of Iran Mehdi Agha Jafari, and High Commissioner of Mauritius Dr. Prakamarjith Vijaye Lutchmun participated in the event as the special guests. Many Ceylon Tea lovers in South Africa visited the event and experienced the new varieties of Ceylon Tea.
The average total consumption of black tea in South Africa is 27,000 metric tonnes per year, while Sri Lanka is contributing 10% of the total demand. The hot beverage market in South Africa is worth $ 600 million per annum and black tea comprises 5.8% of the market.
Apart from Sri Lanka, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Kenya are the top tea-exporting countries to South Africa; altogether, these countries export 14,000-18,000 metric tonnes of tea per year. Five Roses is the top tea brand in South Africa, having more than 50% of the market share, which produces a number of tea varieties including the Ceylon Blend and Pure Ceylon Breakfast Tea.
The key challenge faced in the South African region is the low consumer interest in Ceylon Tea, as coffee dominates in the hot beverage market. Therefore, to penetrate this market, it is necessary to conduct strategic promotions to uplift the interests of the different consumer groups. Increasing per capita income in this region may open new market segments for value-added tea. The tourism industry should be the next target market for Ceylon Tea which accounts for 25 million annual arrivals.