What is in this article?:
- Which Wich seeks to upgrade tea offerings
- A tea showdown
The 201-unit fast-casual chain said that customers are demanding fresh-brewed, higher-quality teas.
Which Wich Superior Sandwiches is seeking a change in its tea suppliers and has approached the research process with the help of its team and consumers.
The 201-unit fast-casual sandwich chain recently conducted a Which Wich Tea Showdown at a research firm in Dallas to select a new source for its iced teas.
Customers are demanding higher quality iced teas, said Charles Ballard, who heads special projects for Which Wich. “The customer’s preference is for a fresh-brewed tea product,” he said.
Iced tea is increasingly becoming a point of differentiation for restaurants, with many offering both sweet and unsweetened versions. McAlister’s Deli, for example, has even created a Tea Bar in some of its recently renovated units.
And limited-service restaurants are increasing sweet tea offerings, according to recent Technomic research. “The emergence of sweet teas (a flavor that accounted for just 3.6 percent in 2010) points to a larger menu-development trend around classic American fare and regional food and drink (i.e., traditional Southern-style sweet tea),” the research firm said in a report.
In addition, away-from-home tea consumption has increased about 10 percent annually over the past decade, the New York-based Tea Association of America reports. The group said Americans consumed more than 65 billion servings of tea in 2010, which totaled more than 3 billion gallons.
The trade group found that on any given day, half of the U.S. population consumed tea, with the South and the Northeast having the largest concentration of tea drinkers. About 85 percent of tea consumed in the U.S. was iced.