How social media is turning South Africa’s Rooibos tea into an international trend!


When you drink your next cup of tea, did you ever stop to think about what made you reach for a cuppa?

We may not realise it, but social media has revolutionised the way we talk and think about what we eat and drink.

According to a recent Innova Market Insights consumer study, one in ten consumers in the US, Canada, Mexico, Spain, the Netherlands and Australia are influenced by social media in their food and beverage purchases. That number increases to a whopping one in five in China and India. In SA, the case is bound to be similar with more than 23 million users spending almost 3 hours on average a day on social media.

Every day, people all over the world post a gazillion snaps of the most beautifully styled dishes and drinks – created by either themselves or served to them with an aim to wow followers who are often left with a sense of envy and cravings for these foods and beverages.

It’s a phenomenon that is also having a big impact on tea consumption worldwide says Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council.

“Before the social media boom, coffee was king, but these days tea is catching up to the popular brew. Aside from Facebook and Twitter, tea has been hash-tagged in over 29 million Instagram posts alone – arguably turning one of history’s oldest drinks into what may be the beverage industry’s sexiest new offering.”

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In her recently launched single, “Look What You Made Me Do”, pop star, Taylor Swift whets fans’ appetites for tea in her provocative video. Similarly, TV shows like Downton Abbey, which has entranced millions of viewers, is fuelling the current tea revival.

It’s posts like these from celebrity chefs, Gordon Ramsey and Siba Mtongana that’s catapulting our home-grown Rooibos to superstar status on social media. Popular platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook have made our Rooibos accessible to the more than 3.48 billion users that are currently active on social media, which in turn is strengthening the demand for the tea globally.
From Germany to Wisconsin (USA), peeps everywhere are posting these hot snaps to Instagram of our humble Rooibos, which only grows in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape. UK foodies love using Rooibos to add a burst of flavour and colour to their food and drink posts.
The power of social media: One person’s suggestion to try Rooibos-citrus- and apple ice tea in the Netherlands or Rooibos-vanilla in Spain has helped to promote home-grown Rooibos to thousands of people across the shores in a single day.

Visit www.facebook.com/rooiboscouncil.

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