Saturday, March 20, 2010

Placing New Organic and Fair Trade Teas into the National Food Distribution Channels

Our typical customers buy from us in bulk and repackage for resale under their own brand name. This works fine for smaller companies and regional distribution centers, but our capacity at Kopius Teas also allows us to contract pack for much larger, food service distributors, especially those seeking to private label organic teas with their own signature blends of teas.

Major food distributors carry a large selection of ready to retail tea products, from boxed loose and tea bag forms all the way to ready to drink national brands. Is there room for private label recognition without a heavy investment in marketing? I think there is, especially when one looks at price. The typical grocery store brand of tea bag may be 5 - 15% lower in cost than a similar name brand product. With tea there's almost a limitless range of flavors to help carve out a healthy following. Even if you go with an Earl Grey, just how many Earl Grey's does one find on the grocery shelves today? Five, six or more? Why not make one of those your own brand, especially if you are carrying other health oriented lines, such as spices or water or soda.

Most of my comments on this blog relate to capacity to build something - make a premium organic, fair trade certified blend, incorporate spearmint and lemons and tangerine with touches of crystalized honey and pink amaranth - take the blend and put it into retail or food service pouches - limit the packaging to instructions, ingredients, weight and tracking information. Not too complicated, you're right. It just takes a bit of initiative and vision.

Let's hear about a line of tea you've created or are thinking about creating? How was it formulated? How quickly can you work the products into distribution channels. Is it all about selling up in the distribution chain? And if you're a current regional distribution, do you think there's a potential to build a natural product from scratch and immediately distribute in along side national brands?

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