Tea is losing popularity among the youth and women across major cities in the country because people consider it unhealthy, if a recent survey is to be believed. The survey, conducted by marketing company AC Nielson, found 77 per cent of those interviewed believed tea is unhealthy and causes ailments. About 76 per cent believed that drinking tea makes the skin dark and 64 per cent stated that they considered tea to be an addictive substance.
The survey, released on Tuesday, also stated that despite being the most widely consumed beverage in the country, most housewives believed drinking tea was unhealthy. The survey, conducted in 12 cities in the country, wanted to understand the perceptions of tea among the youth and housewives. The survey was funded by Brooke Bond.
Changing perceptions towards tea in India will be beneficial to the Indian tea industry, which produces almost 980 million kilograms of tea each year. While pest attacks and erratic rainfall have hindered growth in the production of tea, the tea board still hopes to export 200 million kilograms this year, said Roshni Sen, deputy chairman of the Tea Board of India.
"As prices have stabilised, plantation owners are willing to invest in replacing old tea trees with new ones, which will improve quality of the tea produced. The tea board will be providing plantation owners subsidies for the same," she added.
Now, well-known nutritionists and scientists have joined together to form a 'tea council' that will conduct research on the benefits of drinking tea and challenge myths related to the country's favorite drink.
"Skin darkening is a result of melanin production in the body and it has scientifically been proven that drinking tea does not affect the level of melanin," said Anjali Mukherji, a nutritionist and member of the tea council. "Europeans have been drinking tea for years now and they are still fair," she added.