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BRITAIN is becoming a nation of coffee drinkers, with tea sales falling year on year.

Latest available figures from market researcher Mintel show that tea volume and value fell in 2016 and it expects the 2017 figures to show further decline.

And its research into coffee shows that while coffee sales have grown consistently over the last five years, instant coffee continues to feel the pinch.

It predicts a sales value for tea of £638m with demand for green and herbal or fruit teas continuing to grow.

The report adds that while these teas will benefit from the trend for positive nutrition, with a value share of just 31%, they will not make up for the decline in traditional black tea bags.

Despite its decline, instant remains Britain’s favourite coffee, with 64% of people drinking it.

Mintel says the over-55s are the biggest coffee drinkers and that 61% of coffee drinkers say they like trying different coffees.

The report shows that consumers aged between 25 and  34 buy the widest range of coffees and that the influence of Britain’s burgeoning coffee culture is apparent.

Limited product launches or marketing in the hot chocolate and malted drinks category, says Mintel,  has done little to ensure the visibility of these categories.

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