Author Archives: Dan Bolton

Chai Dispenser and Delivery Service In High Demand

BENGALURU, India Tech-savvy investors are fueling retail innovation in tea. A case in point is India’s Chai Point, a tea retail chain with deep roots in technology that is experimenting with customization at scale. The company, founded in 2010, now sells 300,000 cups of tea daily at more than 100 outlets, hundreds of offices,...

Black Tea Earns Endorsement from European Food Safety Authority

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has awarded Unilever a positive opinion on its heath claim that black tea improves people’s attention span. The EFSA endorsement is a first involving tea. The head of Unilever R&D and lead scientist, Dr. Amelia Jarman said the claim is based on company research involving human trials. Unilever...

American Specialty Tea Alliance is Open for Business

The American Specialty Tea Alliance (ASTA) is a newly registered non-profit founded to champion the tea industry’s small business segment. Its mission “is to grow interest in specialty tea, in both the tea industry and the public, through education and community, by facilitating collaboration between our members, by bolstering the quality and tenability of...

Assam Labor Abuse Inspires Public Awareness Campaign

Assam’s largest tea estates have been cited in disturbing reports of labor abuse and child trafficking the past few years, tarnishing the reputation and marketability of one of the world’s best-known teas. Four years ago, the World Bank, university researchers, and NGOs investigating mistreatment led to critical and widespread media coverage. The resulting consumer...

Turmoil at DAVIDsTEA Leads to Missed Opportunity

MONTREAL, Quebec DAVIDsTEA President and CEO Joel Silver resigned this week after a vicious proxy battle that returned control of the public company to co-founder Herschel Segal. A block of investors, led by TDM Asset Management Director Benjamin Gisz, and supported by proxy consultants Glass, Lewis & Co., vigorously objected to a seven-member slate...

Replenish Retail: The Refill Revolution

An Australian specialty tea company has developed compostable refill packaging and fill-your-own bulk dispensers in support of “Plastic Free July.” Two million Australian consumers already have pledged to avoid single-use packaging, a national promotion that adds momentum to the “refill revolution.” Founder Anthia Koullouros says Ovvio Organics is one of the first Australian tea...

Tea Innovations That Move the Needle

Seventy-three percent of consumers report they are always willing to try something once, but true beverage innovations result in reorders, not one-offs. Manufacturers and retailers understand that innovation only matters if it moves the needle toward profitability, either by leading to more sales from existing customers, enticing new customers to buy or both. Everett...

Director of Global Tea Initiative at World Tea Expo

Informed consumers make better choices and more frequently that choice is tea. “Compare tea to the wine industry,” suggests Katharine Burnett. “The more knowledgeable the consumer is, the more s/he buys. And this puts pressure on the industry to provide better and better quality, which makes the choices even better for all, and even...

This Home Brewer is Built to Do it All

Kickstarter is the birthplace of many devices, clever ideas all, but littered in the aftermath are many tales in which donors funded a product only to see it fail to materialize. That is why some viewed with skepticism the launch last week of PicoBrew’s combination craft beer maker that brews kombucha and makes juice...

Nestle-Starbucks Alliance Brings Mutual Benefits

Brands get all the attention, but distribution is the formidable skeleton that enables food and beverage titans such as Nestlé ($90 billion), PepsiCo ($63 billion), Coca-Cola ($42 billion) and Kraft Heinz ($26 billion) to generate $25 to $100 billion in annual sales. Last week Nestlé announced it had purchased perpetual rights to market Starbucks...