Would You Like a Cuppa? The Top Players in the Hot Drinks Market

Melina-DrugaCoffee or tea? Everyone seems to have a preference. The following companies are leaders in their field. They have survived the test of time, created trends and become global leaders. They prove that while tea and coffee have been around for centuries, hot beverages are more popular than ever.





Perhaps the world’s oldest surviving tea company, Twinings has been in existence since the early 18th century.



Keurig Green Mountain

A fairly recent addition to the coffee market, Keurig developed K-cup single serve beverage pods.




What started as a Seattle coffee retailer is now the world’s largest coffee-house chain.


Globally, the hot drinks market grew 3.9% between 2010 and 2014, according to MarketLine, reaching $93 billion in revenue. Production also increased during that timeframe, growing 2.7% and reaching 8 billion kilograms.

Consumption varies greatly from nation to nation with some regions preferring coffee while others opt for tea.

Tea consumption is forecasted to grow 4.6% by 2020, according to Technavio, while coffee sales are forecasted to grow 5.8%.




“Every sip of Twinings Tea is a marriage of experience – yours and ours.” – Twinings USA

Founded in 1706 in London where it is still headquartered, Twinings sells 200 varieties of tea in more than 100 nations. Company founder Thomas Twining worked for the East India Co. He became well versed in a new novelty in Great Britain, tea. Twinings bought a coffee house and turned it into a tea house. The establishment quickly gained a reputation for selling only the finest teas. The company’s first exports were in 1749.

The Twinings logo, selected a few years later in 1787, is still in use, making it the world’s oldest company logo.

The blend Earl Gray was invented by the company in 1831. In 1933, it began selling its most famous blend, English Breakfast, and in 1956, it began selling tea bags. Today, Twinings still experiments with new tea innovations. In 2012, 20 new varieties were introduced while the following year the company began employing Master Blenders who create new blends.

The company sells black tea, flavored teas, decaffeinated varieties, chai, oolong, green tea, herbal teas, rooibos tea, white tea, iced tea, organic teas, seasonal teas and coffee.

Globally, the tea market reached 5,000 tons produced in 2013, according to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, while consumption reached 4,600 tons. Tea leaves are harvested in several regions of the world including South America, Southern Asia and Africa.

The market is forecasted to grow by 2023 with black tea increasing 2.9% annually, reaching 4.1 million tons. Consumption, meanwhile, is forecasted to grow 3% annually and reach 4.1 million tons.

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2.Keurig Green Mountain


“Leave no coffee bean behind.” – Keurig Green Mountain

Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Waterbury, VT, Keurig manufactures 575 beverage varieties and 80 brands in the Keurig system. It is best known for its Keurig brewing systems and its K-cups. In addition to its headquarters, it has facilities in six U.S. states and an office in Montreal.

The company employs 6,000 globally. As of 2015, it had sold more than 50 million brewing systems and won 31 awards. Recognitions it has received include the top coffee brewer brand in the U.S. by NDA Channels, 43rd most innovative company in the world by Forbes and top single serve coffee brand by Infoscan Data.

The company introduced K-cups in 1998. They were meant to answer the question, “Why brew a full pot of coffee when we only drink one cup at a time.” The cups, however, are bad for the environment because they produce post-consumer waste. To remedy this, Keurig has taken on a plan to “to making 100% of K-Cup packs recyclable by 2020,” CNN reported. In fiscal year 2015, net sales were $4.5 billion, and cash flow was $343.8 million.

Globally, the coffee market rebounded in 2014 after two years of falling prices. Production was estimated to be 146.8 million 60 kilogram bags, according to the International Coffee Organization. Africa produces 11% of the world’s coffee beans while Asia-Pacific produces one-third. Since 2009, demand has grown 2.1% annually.

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“Inspiring and nurturing the human spirit—one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time.” – Starbucks

Founded in 1971, Starbucks began as a Seattle, WA, coffee retailer and roaster. In 1983, it decided to try the Italian coffee house concept. Between 1987 and 2007, an average of two new stores were opening daily, according to a Starbucks case study. In 1992, the company went public with shares trading at $17. As of June 2016, shares were trading at $54.

According to the official company profile, today, Starbucks is the world’s largest coffee-house chain with 22,519 stores in 67 nations as of June 2015. In fiscal year 2014, revenue was $16.4 billion with 73% of revenue coming from the North American market. Most of Starbucks’ customers can be categorized as Baby Boomers and Millennials.

Starbucks sells 30 coffee blends, tea, other beverages, food and merchandise. It sells under the following brand names: Starbucks Coffee, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Teavana, Tazo, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange, Ethos Water and Torrefazione Italia Coffee.

The company’s largest competitors are Dunkin’ Brands Inc. and Tim Hortons Inc.

Starbucks is forecasted to reach its peak value, according to analysts EFT.com, in 2025 and decline steadily thereafter.

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