Madhav Sarda, MD of Golden Tips Tea, says that the flavoured tea market is growing at a fast clip in India.
Flavoured teas are particularly popular in India and worldwide. Known for boosting immunity, these particular teas are now in demand post-pandemic. Madhav Sarda, Managing Director of Golden Tips Tea, said that Earl Grey Black tea is particularly favourite among tea lovers across the globe. Excerpts:
Q: According to you, what could be the future market growth of flavoured tea?
A: Flavour in tea can be added in the form of spices, nuts, flowers, or flavour extracts such as essential oils of Bergamot, Lemon, Cranberry, Honey, Mint etc. With several organised players in the industry entering the fray, the flavoured tea market is growing at a fast clip in India. According to industry sources, flavoured tea market growth is estimated at 45% per year in India.
As some reports suggest, the size of the flavoured tea market in India in terms of volume and price is approximately 60 million kgs and Rs 3,600 cr respectively. So, the flavoured tea market amounts to about 10% of the entire packaged tea consumption in India.
Q: Which flavour is higher in demand? Could you share some details on why customers favour that particular flavour?
A: Earl Grey Black tea is by far the most popular flavoured tea from the Golden Tips stable. Apart from its numerous health benefits, the citrusy, aromatic and bold flavour of Earl Grey tea has made it a big favourite among tea lovers across the world. Earl Grey’s citrusy taste is due to the addition of natural Bergamot oil.
Q: As Golden Tips Tea has plans to expand globally in a phased manner, which state or region (national and international) has higher demands for flavoured tea? Could share in detail about the growth in demand pre-pandemic and post-pandemic?
A: Apart from the domestic market, our brand has dedicated customers across the globe and has shipped Golden Tips teas to almost 90 countries at some point of time in the last several years. Even though the distribution may not be very significant in terms of volume, the geographical spread is fairly noteworthy. Golden Tips also has exclusive representations in Russia, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, Nepal, Bhutan and now China, through distributors. Also, North America and Europe, particularly Russia have a fairly good demand for flavoured teas. Major factors driving the global market for flavoured tea include the easy availability of tea all over the world through various channels, especially online ones. Tea is exported all over the world and flavoured tea is receiving special attention in modern times, due to its added varieties and enhanced tastes. This is resulting in a surge in demand for flavoured tea across the globe.
The demand for such functional teas has increased in India and globally particularly after the onset of Covid-19, as teas augmented with spices, fruits, nuts and natural herbs are known to boost immunity. Reports suggest that the moving annual total (MAT) of the packaged tea market in value is growing by around 19% in August 2021, over MAT August 2020 in India. Pre-pandemic, the growth was around 7% (2019 vs 2018).
Q: Has the economic crisis in Sri Lanka affected the growth of Golden Tips Tea?
A: Plucking, processing and the final made tea are probably being stocked in Sri Lanka, and will eventually find their way to the market in spite of the current imbroglio. In the current situation, Sri Lanka is in dire need of US dollars and other hard currencies, and tea is one of their top forex earners. Hence, they are likely to do everything possible to ensure that their tea reaches the global markets and fetches the much-needed foreign exchange. Therefore, even if there may be some temporary minor benefits, significant long-term gains or benefits for Golden Tips emanating from the current socio-political scenario in Sri Lanka, are unlikely as exports will surely continue from that country.
Q: Due to the increased price rate, how do you plan to keep flavoured tea more affordable for the general public?
A: As the prices of orthodox teas are spiralling, we are using broken and plain tea leaf varieties which have comparatively less character and are much cheaper than traditional made teas. The advantage of using these teas is that they are markedly less in price than full leaf teas and do not alter the taste of the tea in a significant manner.
Q: Where do you see Golden Tips Tea in 5 years?
A: Golden Tips presently operates through its 14 tea boutiques, mostly in eastern India in Darjeeling, Mirik, Kalimpong, Gangtok, Bagdogra and Kolkata. Customers can buy our teas through our omni-channel routes like our website, www.goldentipstea.com, online marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart, several leading retail chains and select distributor networks across several countries.
In the next five years, Golden Tips has the potential to become one of the noteworthy global home-grown Indian tea brands with a strong focus on business ethics, quality, optimum pricing, customer centricity and sustainable supply chain practices.