Thursday, December 17, 2009

End of year

What an amazing turnaround we've seen in the specialty tea industry. Earlier in the year and throughout most of the summer, sales were sluggish. But Q4 has really turned things around and frankly, we quite optimistic about 2010.

We are looking to make some significant changes to the website over the next 2-4 weeks. More news to follow.

We are also embarking on an upgrade to our inventory systems. We will be conducting a physical inventory over the next 2 weeks. Please be advised that orders placed Dec 21 may not be fulfilled until after Jan 2, 2010.

Enjoy the holidays.

Monday, December 7, 2009

2010 TransFairUSA license fees

Starting in 2010 TransFairUSA is initiating new contracts to shift responsibilities for license fee payments away from the Importer and onto the Manufacturer. Kopius Teas will be acting as the Manufacturer in terms of the supply chain for Fair Trade certified teas and herbs. Therefore we will collect the license fees and pay this amount directly to TransFairUSA on behalf of our clients.

There will be no change in how transactions are conducted on the Kopius Teas website, but you should indicate on your quarterly reports that the license fees were collected by Kopius Teas. These payments are shown as  Fair Trade Certified Tea - USA directly under the qualifying product on your sales invoice.

We encourage you to check with other wholesalers to confirm their policies, as you may still be responsible for other FairTrade license fees that are not collected by those acting as an Importer.

Custom proprietary blends

Customers starting a new internet tea business often wish to build their own identity through packaging tea with their own logo and designs. This process falls directly in line with our bulk tea shipments, which are delivered in large, heat sealed bags. Our customers generally repackage our products into smaller retail canisters and pouches for resale.

But how does one go about extending brand identity through proprietary formulations? For example, if you want to create your own tea blend that no one else offers, how can you initiate this?

For new e-retailers, my recommendation is to consider working with a series of preblended stock teas and tisanes first. Get to know your clients needs and use their input to formulate a new, signature blend. There's really no need to start blending teas from your first day of business. At Kopius Teas and other wholesalers, there are many choices for preblended teas. In most cases, these teas have already some level of established acceptance in the marketplace. Furthermore, the variety and ability to order fresh teas in small quantities can be quite a time saver.

When the time is right (ie when you are consistently reselling a nice volume of product), then you can speak with a contract blender to fine tune a new blend that best complements your existing menu. Equally important, you will have greater confidence that this custom blend will sell rapidly. Maybe you can even progress to selling this blend at wholesale prices yourself.

Friday, December 4, 2009

OneStep Private Label Tea Bags

We have made a minor change to the dimensions of the OneStep Private Label design specifications. The labels are now slightly longer and extend to the bottom of the canister for a more polished look.

Specifications are available by clicking here.