Celebrity tea drinkers trigger boom in herbal sales

They are often blamed for promoting dodgy fad diets and extreme methods of slimming but the celebrities do have their good points - they may well have triggered a recent boom in sales of herbal teas.

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Britons already drink vast quantities of tea but according to Whittard of Chelsea, more and more of us are swapping good old-fashioned English breakfast for fragrant herbal infusions.

Sales of herbal tea increased by a massive 60 per cent last year, with echinacea and the naturally caffeine-free South African rooibos proving particularly popular.

While celebrity-watchers may account for some herbal tea newcomers, a desire to cut down on alcohol and a fresh, new corporate culture are also helping to boost herbal sales.

Fiona Robinson, spokesman for Whittard, told the Daily Express: "Last year's health tea sales were dominated by fruit and berry flavours, but a growing percentage of sales are now from infusions with health-promoting, medicinal qualities.

"This shift can be attributed to the perennial personal detox but also to a changing attitude in the workplace. Our shops have seen more offices shopping with us, as board meetings have added health teas as a third option to regular tea and coffee."

Whittard's sales of relaxing rooibox were up by 67 per cent on last year, peppermint tea rose by 62 per cent and the January best-seller (made popular by the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Geri Halliwell) lemon, ginger and echinacea, rose by a massive 83 per cent.

Meanwhile, Ms Robinson added that many customers were "reaching for a cup of green or jasmine tea instead of a G&T".

Have you ditched English breakfast in favour of a herbal infusion? Let us know below...