New Placements Follow nourishtea


Zast Foods founder Ryan R. Pennie, a former Unilever executive, had been eyeing the fast-growing premium tea segment for several years. That is why he moved so quickly to acquire Toronto-based nourishtea™, he says.
Two months after closing the deal with founders Avi Markus and Chris Draper, Pennie has additional placements and renewed confidence in marketing the line in mainstream stores.
Nourishtea is one of eight company-owned and licensed brands in the Zast portfolio that includes Mrs. Dash seasonings, Sugar Twin and Nudefruit. They are sold in foodservice, convenience, club and entertainment venues like Cineplex concessions.
Nourishtea is the firm’s first beverage, one of several “healthy for you” foods and snacks, says Pennie. The teas are priced from $6.99 to $12.99 and are found both in the health and wellness section and in the tea and coffee aisles.
“We spent the past 18 months creating brands for that segment. I could see Avi and Chris had a great business that appealed to the younger demographic,” says Pennie, “Everyone is really getting into tea.” 
“Nourishtea is a loose leaf alternative to bags, certified organic and Fair Trade and with a strong commitment to charity,” says Pennie.
Nourishtea remains in Whole Foods, London Drugs and a myriad of independents. Zast Foods, founded in 2006, serves a large network of retailers including Sobeys and Sav-on. “We will focus on getting inroads there,” says Pennie. Our plan is to capture market in Canada and make inroads into America, he explains. Affordable loose leaf is positioned well against tea bags and the popularity of tea travelers and brew cups with screens make drinking loose leaf more convenient.
imageZast will continue to support the charity Action Against Hunger ACF and retain the flavor profile and nourishtea™ line in its familiar packaging, says Pennie. The existing website and social networking pages on Facebook and Twitter remain separate from Zast Foods. Draper left the company when the sale closed in November and Markus remained during the transition. The sale price was not disclosed.
The Nourishtea account is now handled by Pilot Marketing, Georgetown, Ont., Don Alderman is the lead sales and marketing representative. To learn more visit  
Dan Bolton

About Dan Bolton

Dan Bolton edits STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International. He was formerly editor and publisher of World Tea News and former editor and publisher of Tea Magazine and former editor-in-chief of Specialty Coffee Retailer. He is a beverage retail consultant and frequent speaker at industry seminars and conferences. His work has appeared in many beverage publications. He was a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years prior to his career in magazines. Dan is the founding editor of Natural Food magazine and has led six publishing ventures since 1995. He lives in Winnipeg, Canada.