As reformed soda drinkers continue to look for healthier ways to get their caffeine fix, the world ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee and tea market is set to grow from $69 billion in 2011 to $125 billion in 2017–just under 11% annual growth–according to a analysis by research firm MarketsandMarkets. The result is the second-most consumed beverage in the world after water, and for good reason: It is well established that tea is loaded with antioxidants and compounds that can boost endurance, help protect against cancers and heart disease, increase exercise stamina and more, notes Time magazine.
With its general halo of health and the allure of abundant beneficial antioxidants, RTD tea is particularly well positioned for continued growth in the U.S. among consumers looking for better for you beverage choices, according to IRi projections. Average annual tea consumption in North America (is it US or North America?) grew from 11.4 liters per person in 2005 to 15.2 liters in 2010 and is expected to reach 17.7 liters by 2015, notes a Euromonitor Compass 2011 report.