Health-savvy boomers are giving the tea industry a boost.
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The top four teamakers control 88 percent of industry revenue, according to IBISWorld. But the remaining 12 percent represents a $264 million market for small, independent manufacturers.
Tea - the sixth most popular beverage in the U.S. after carbonated soft drinks, bottled water, beer, milk, and coffee - is growing because of increasing consumer health consciousness, particularly among the boomer population. The industry averaged annual growth of about 5 percent over the past five years.
Other healthy beverages with promising growth prospects include antioxidant-rich juices and vitamin-enhanced waters.
By the numbers:
Sales growth rate of "beverage manufacturing" from 2009, according to Sageworks: 8.17 percent
Rank of tea among most popular beverages in the United States: 6
Annual rate of industry revenue increase for the past five years, according to IBISWorld: 5.2 percent
Estimate of annual industry growth until 2015, according to IBISWorld: 5.4 percent
Percentage of the market top industry player Pepsi Co. represents, according to IBISWorld: 35.1
Average company profit margin of U.S. tea producers, according to IBISWorld: 18.6 percent