TWG Expands to Canada

Palace Teabag Chest and Tray-lo res

TWG Palace Teabag Chest and Tray.


Luxury tea brand TWG Tea will open its first North American Tea Salon & Boutique in early December in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The venture, a franchise expansion, will be operated by Tom and Karinna James. It will be the 57th TWG opening since the Singapore-based company began business eight years ago. TWG Tea offers more than 800 varieties of tea and single-origin harvests. It operates in 18 of the world’s largest cities including Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Manila, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and London.

“Launching in North America is a key component of the company’s global expansion strategy, particularly since the continent is showing a rising thirst for the coveted commodity,” according to the company. A press release, citing Euromonitor International, noted that “in 2015, tea sales in Canada amounted to CDN $1.3 billion and consumption is expected to grow an additional 40% by 2020.”

TWG Tea Staff (3)-lo res“North American consumers are also willing to pay more for premium teas, including organic and luxury brands, due to their high quality standards,” according to a Bain & Company report that estimates the luxury market in 2015 in North America at CDN $113 billion.

The decision to debut in Vancouver was the result of a careful analysis of the market “and is primarily due to the city’s existing tea culture, large Asian population, and local appreciation for niche and artisanal beverages,” according to the company. About 10% of Canada’s population is Asian with a majority from China.

“The primary goal for TWG Tea is to cultivate an even stronger tea culture in North America, which is why the Vancouver TWG Tea Salon & Boutique will not just be a retail venue but also a resource for interested consumers to learn more about teas around the world, properties of different varieties, and the many high-quality seasonal tea blends available,” according to the release.

TWG Tea President, CEO and Co-Founder Taha Bouqdib called Canada “a burgeoning market where tea consumption is on the rise with a growing shift toward fine teas among North American consumers.”

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique at Grand Gateway Shanghai  (4)-lo res

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique at Grand Gateway Shanghai.

The 3,000-square-foot store seats 50 and will be located at 1070 West Georgia, a downtown site formerly occupied by The Urban Tea Merchant. VanSing Distribution Group is the exclusive franchise partner and distributor of TWG Tea in Canada. CEO Tom James and president and COO Karinna James founded VanSing in 2012 to import and export gourmet products and accessories. The couple closed The Urban Tea Merchant, a specialty tea shop they founded in 2004. Canadian orders may be made online at American consumers can find TWG teas for sale at Dean & Deluca.

Source: TWG Tea


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.