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Feb, 04 2017

BREWING UP

Tea is one of the most favoured and loved categories in the beverage business, especially when it comes to attracting investors or creating employment opportunities

Building beverage business is a new trend that has been growing rapidly in the food service. It is a profitable opportunity for the budding investors. Tea business was introduced in India during the British time. In the western market, chai means black tea spiced with cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cardamom, and other ingredients, popularly known as chai masala. According to TNS research, about 96 per cent of Indian adults drink tea, and consumption of coffee is as high as 85 per cent.

The Hottest Trends

Now, consumer is getting health conscious, and tea offers more health benefits than any other drink. Organic, self-sustained food sources are the order of the day. “In India, chai drinking habits are shifting to more healthier natural teas alternatives. Green, White, Oolong teas without milk and sugar are not just recommended by dieticians, but also are the choice of the new generation of consumers. Organic and self-sustained source of production matter to the consumers in India and worldwide,” stated Ashok Mittal, MD, Teamonk Global Foods.

Ayurveda Tea, which has recently come up with Tetley and Teaveda, has been pegged on par in the tea bag segment, which is growing faster, and is currently about 3-5 per cent of the Rs 30,000-crore tea category. With Teaveda, the market leader in tea is also trying to segment its premium portfolio with new price points and SKUs (stock keeping units). Teaveda, includes health-based herb teas with variants like Pro Energy and Pro Women in the tea bag segment, apart from loose tea. Sushant Das, Regional President, India, Tata Global Beverages, said: “We had done a pilot with Teaveda almost two and a half years ago. It will have a price point of Rs 90 for 250 grams, which will be in between our existing brand of Tata Tea Premium and Tata Tea Gold in the loose tea segment.’’

Chai different flavors have proven to be successful in attracting tea consumers to the category, especially suitable for the milkier, sweet hot tea lattes, and the rich, sweet flavors that consumers enjoy with espresso-based latte products. Most of the leading retail brands from Lipton to Twinings and Bigelow have one or more tea SKUs in multiple formats. Cafes are providing great ambience, serving snacks, along with tea and also interact with customers. Furthermore, these tea cafes ensures that coffee and mocktails are included in the menu as many people come to these venues for the food and are not big fans of tea.

Business Model

Teamonk Global is an e-commerce tea venture offering exclusive quality pure and natural specialty teas sourced from the finest tea plantations in Darjeeling, Nilgiris and Assam. The tea selection includes exquisite quality black, green, oolong and white teas curated for tea connoisseurs. Most of these teas are exported around the globe and are normally not available in India. Teamonk leverages its strategic alliance with the best tea plantations in India to exclusively source these specialty teas.

“We provide value and convenience. We meet the daily refreshment requirements of the Indian middle-class consumers as we target the urban middle-class consumer. We aim to provide maximum value by giving high quality at an economical price,” said Bhrigu Dutt, Director, Eagle Peak Garam Chai.

Global Opportunities

Most of the tea startups operate in the aggregator format, and also create their presence in the international markets. Mittal of Teamonk Global Foods, said: “In the next few years, we are planning to aggressively mark our presence in the Indian specialty tea market and be a top player both in terms of volume of tea sold and brand connect. We are gradually planning to address the key tea drinking international markets in a phased manner in the UK, the US, Japan, Germany and Canada.”

Chaayos, another brand, is making around 12,000 different kinds of chai and is present in the metros and a few other big cities.

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