Australia’s Eloments Organic Vitamin Tea, a fast-growing Fairtrade-certified brand in the enhanced tea segment, just launched in the UK following a $1 million funding round that financed expansion into more than 1,000 retail locations.
The brand offers a patented combination of nine natural vitamins in a range that includes both tea and tisanes, according to founders Julie Hirsch and Nicole Lamond of Melbourne, Australia.
Unlike virtually all the vitamin supplements that you buy at the supermarket, Eloments is 100% natural, they explained.
Nutritionist and Dietitian Ashleigh Feltham wrote, “Synthetic nutrients are often called ‘nature identical’ because they are made to replicate the chemical composition of naturally occurring nutrients. They’re created using an industrial process from synthetic materials and are considered ‘isolated nutrients’ because they are made in isolation without the co-nutrients found in natural fruits and herbs.”
In contrast, wholefoods supplements are made from concentrated, dried wholefoods and other plant materials, said Feltham. Using only water, the nutrients in Eloments’ teas are extracted with their co-factors and co-nutrients from plants and organic fruit, herbs, and botanicals such as holy basil, guava, amla, and lemon. The resulting teas deliver 40% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, C, and Zinc. “It is the only tea on the market that blends natural organic vitamins,” said Hirsch.
“Only 5% of Aussies are eating enough fruit and veg every day, but around half of the professional-age women in Australia drink more than one cup of tea per day. 100% natural vitamins in a beautiful cup of Fairtrade tea was a natural progression.,” Lamond told Dynamic Business. Lamond is a founding member of Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand. She met Hirsch, who was deputy director of an environmental non-profit, and the two shared their commitment to the environment, sustainability and fair treatment of labor at origin.
The process took two years to develop and is awaiting patent approval, said Lamond. Hirsch added, “No one had ever been able to create one before. Manufacturing challenges meant that other companies had chosen to use synthetic vitamins, so we had to create a new process for blending the nutrients with Fairtrade teas in a way that wouldn’t harm the plant-based extracts.”
“Tea is a beautiful and healthy beverage option, and increasingly people look to tea for its traditional health benefits and antioxidants,” said Hirsch.
Woolworths Supermarkets in Australia stock the tea at 75% of the chain’s locations. The teas, which are blended in the UK, are now available online there through retailers that include Ocado and Planet Organic, sports foods, and health food stores.
The tea is priced at $3.99 (AUS$5.90 for 14 teabags $0.42 each) at Woolworths. A box sells for £3.50 (25p) at Ocado and £3.60 (26p) at Planet Organic, which is $4.70 USD.
In a feature published in StartCompany, Lamond said the challenges they overcame sourcing 100% natural vitamins and minerals appealed to investor Organic X Labs which backed their efforts with $1 million in Series A funding.
The article mentions “money from the raise will be used to keep funding the business and its growth, along with helping the two founders promote the business. Some of it might also be used to hire the company’s first-ever employee, with the two founders being the only employees currently.”
Lamond credits the clean food movement and the fact that customers are more focused on sustainability and environmental concerns.
One problem with supplements is that people forget to take them. When it comes to tea lovers, “no one’s ever forgotten to have a cup of tea each day.”