Sophie is the Manager of Trends for EMEA, responsible for ensuring content in the region is insightful, while also working with the wider team on developing new trends.

PG Tips is launching a new tea that is specially blended for drinking with plant-based milk. The ‘perfect with dairy-free’ tea blend is aimed at the growing wave of consumers who are opting for soy or nut milks, with these alternatives often said to overwhelm the taste of conventional tea.

Changing tastes

Free-from food and drink have seen rapid development over recent years, with the UK dairy-/lactose-free food and drink market estimated to be worth £376 million in 2017. This represents growth of 34.8% over the two previous years, according to Mintel’s recent report on free-from foods. The boost is due to many consumers embracing a flexitarian approach to their diet, with dairy-free alternatives now seen as a mainstream choice and no longer limited to vegans or those restricted by allergies.

This enthusiasm is seeing major players – from supermarkets to restaurants – embrace the trend towards dairy-free, with an influx of new products being made available. While there is space for further development in the free-from sector, the new PG Tips tea highlights the impact these products could have on related categories too. This showcases the potential for further innovation among other food and drink categories, which may otherwise be affected in taste or texture by dairy-free alternatives, such as baking ingredients or packet sauces like béchamel and custard.