Slideshow: New menu items from Dunkin' Donuts, Jack in the Box, Taco Bell

by Rebekah Schouten
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KANSAS CITY — While coffee continues to be the hot beverage of choice for most, tea is trending upward.

Hot tea has been growing steadily over the past five years, according to research from the Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc. Total category sales for hot tea have increased more than 15% over the past five years, and the industry anticipates strong, continuous growth for the category.

Tea has especially seen a boost in the food service category, with 6% or nearly $11 billion consumer dollars spent in the food service beverage category in 2014, the Tea Association said. Between 2010 and 2015, tea saw a 16% increase in menu occurrences.

As tea continues to permeate restaurant menus, future success will depend on consumer interest in the benefits of tea, the Tea Association said, as well as innovation in premium teas.

Seeking a slice of that success, Dunkin’ Donuts is launching a line of new premium hot teas. Available in five flavors, each beverage is served in a pyramid tea sachet containing full leaf tea or herbal infusions.

The Bold Breakfast Black Tea is a bold blend of full leaf black tea.

The Harmony Leaf Green Tea is a vibrant full leaf green tea delivering a delicate earthly flavor.

The Chamomile Fields Herbal Infusion is a caffeine-free herbal infusion featuring chamomile flowers, citrus and herbs.

The Hibiscus Kiss Herbal Infusion is a caffeine-free herbal infusion featuring hibiscus, herbs and natural berry flavors.

The Cool Mint Herbal Infusion is a caffeine-free herbal infusion combining peppermint leaves and natural herbs.

“Though we are known for our signature coffee and espresso drinks, we are also a leading restaurant brand in the hot tea category,” said Chris Fuqua, senior vice-president of brand marketing, global consumer insights and product innovation for Dunkin’ Donuts. “As tea continues to increase in popularity, particularly among younger consumers, our expanded breadth of high-quality teas, featuring proprietary blends, reinforces Dunkin’ Donuts as the destination for the best beverage choices to keep people energized any time of day.”

Click for a slideshow of new menu items.
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