- In Indonesia, the Chinese tea plantation was initially started in Buitenzorg (now Bogor) in 1824. According to the Indonesia Tea Board, tea plantation is mainly located in West Java (almost 100 thousand hectares) with total production reached up to 104 thousand tons followed by Central Java (9 thousand hectares). In the last 20 years, tea plantation has been dominated by individual owners which in total reach 65 hectares, state plantations only own 43 hectares, followed by private company plantation at 34 hectares.
- Indonesia tea production keeps on declining every year. The production volume was at 169 thousand tons in 2003, then was lowered down to around 150 thousands-ish in 2007. According to Ministry of Agriculture, production in 2017 was only reached 139 thousand tons. These are influenced by the following factors:
- Land conversion from agricultural to non-agricultural land. There was a 26% decrease in total land plantation from 153 thousand hectares in 2000 to 113 thousand hectares in 2018. The situation got worse since the market was also exposed to imported, and it made local farmers switch growing other plants.
- Low domestic demand. Tea consumption is at 350 grams per capita per year, still at the same rate to the ‘70s, despite all the economic and income growth Indonesia has achieved.
- Competition with ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages. The industry especially can’t compete with the rapid innovation and growth of RTDs, such as packaged, isotonic drink or energy drink, mineral water, soft drinks, RTD juice, and RTD milk
- In 2018, tea recorded weaker retail volume growth than in the previous year due to declining consumer purchasing power. Tea category is approaching saturation and it has strong distribution to all the regions in Indonesia. In addition, considering that is not a primary need for Indonesian people, tea consumption tends to decline along with decreasing purchasing power.
- With the convenience of being able to make tea without having to filter loose tea, consumers are increasingly comfortable with the tea bag format. Black tea bags significantly outperformed loose in 2018. In terms of flavor, black and green tea are the most preferred tea in Indonesia.
- Indonesia exports best quality tea abroad, then it comes back as a foreign brand. From January to August 2018, the export value reached USD 5.31 million, a 130% increase compared to the same period in 2017. The current biggest markets for premium teas are United Kingdom, Netherlands, and US. While the demand for wholesale mostly comes from Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines. Those countries will mix Indonesian tea in RTDs
Indonesia, Sinar Sostro and Tangmas are the key players in the tea category.
- Unilever Indonesia continued to lead in 2018 with its Sariwangi brand, mainly contributed by its black tea bags. The brand is supported by a quite aggressive marketing and distribution which enabled the brand to remain the leader.
- Sinar Sosro with its Sosro brand stood in second place, also contributed mainly by its black tea bags.
- Tangmas with its 2 Tang brand (black and green tea bags) stands in third place.
- Within green tea flavor, Kepala Djenggot and Tong Tji were leading.
- The tea market is competitive due to tough competition with the local brands which perceived to have strong traditional images, such as:
- Teh Tong Tji, Teh Cap Botol, Teh Cap Poci, Teh Gopek (from Central Java)
- Teh Cap Bendera (from Medan, Sumatera) and Teh Prendjak (from Riau, Sumatera)
- Teh Gunung Satria (from South Kalimantan).
CONSUMERS CONSUMPTION AND PURCHASE HABIT
- Tea plays a central role in most Indonesian meals and social occasions. Most regions in Indonesia have tea-drinking habits regardless of what kind of food they eat. It is like taking mineral water anytime, anywhere, and with any food. Despite its presentation differences, according to each individual preference whether as hot or cold drink, tea is always a company to every mealtime
- All restaurants and hotels in Indonesia also prepare tea in the local fashion and many cater to international tastes as well. In some restaurants in Indonesia, tea is given for free to the customers, and they can reorder as many as they like. Because of this, tea is solely seen as a thirst-quencher and perceived as less valuable, according to interviewed among several urban youngsters conducted by BBC. Whereas premium tea that is sold in cafes are seen unattractive due to the old-fashioned image. They stated that tea is supposed to be cheaper than coffee. This finding is understandable, as drinking coffee has become a trend in Indonesian urban culture. Drinking coffee is perceived as cool and trendy. A normal price for a cup of coffee in Jakarta is around IDR 30 thousand – contrary to the worthless tea. If it offers something different or innovative, then they will consider to try and spend more.
- According to a survey conducted by Jakpat in 2017 in Indonesia, there were three reasons for consumers to consume tea: because the tastes good (36%), their favorite drink (35%) and it helps them to keep healthy (29%).
- The research found that loose tea/tea bag is mostly consumed by adults and many of them are blue-collar workers, whilst RTD is more able to tap into teenagers age group, and many come from the upper class
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