UK households who have teabags in their kitchen 'warned'

The cost of a cuppa is set to soar - while the size of teabags shrinks - according to new warnings. Tea production in India, which exports to the UK, has plunged by a staggering and eye-watering 30 per cent year-on-year, to the lowest amount at 90 million kg for a DECADE.

Prabhat Bezboruah, a senior tea planter and former chairman of India’s Tea Board, said: “Extreme weather events are hurting tea production. Excessive heat in May, followed by ongoing flooding in Assam, are reducing output.”

Compared to last year, a small box of tea bags is already up 11 percent in price, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Between May 2023 and May 2024, the price went from £2.38 to £2.64. Marco Forgione, of the Institute of Export and International Trade, said: “The tranquility of our tea supply and demand has been disrupted by recent upheavals, which has resulted in a surge in prices.

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“These disruptions have rippled throughout the global supply chain, adding to price pressures, shrinkflation and availability issues, all of which put further pressure on consumers' already stretched purses and complicating businesses' supply chains.”

Nagesh Manepalli, consulting director at FutureBridge, warned: “It’s a massive increase across the sector and it is the major challenge in the industry right now.” Debarnik Biswas, hot drinks lead analyst at GlobalData, said: “Low-income developing tea-producing countries that rely on the tea sector for employment and export revenue have been somewhat affected by fertiliser shortages and increased prices, logistical bottlenecks and higher production costs.”

He warned: “In some of the largest producing countries of tea such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and India, there was a prolonged heatwave that damaged a lot of key crops.” Daniel Parr, European R&D team leader for hot drinks at Ecotone – owner of tea brands Clipper and Destination - told Just Drinks: “Tea farmers are being faced with climate challenges.

“Weather patterns are becoming more extreme and harder to predict, with more incidents of heavy rainfall and flooding.”