Red Rose, a famous Canadian tea brand dating back to 1894, and Salada Tea were acquired in October by New Jersey-based Harris Tea Company along with the tea manufacturing assets of Redco Foods which announced it will close its tea factory in Little Falls, N.Y.
Harris Tea Company is a division of Harris Freeman & Co., which operates four production facilities located in California, Georgia, New Jersey, and the United Kingdom. Redco, founded in 1985, is a subsidiary of tea packing equipment manufacturer Teekanne GmbH of Dusseldorf, Germany.
The price was not disclosed. Closing the Redco Foods facility will affect 60-70 employees as production is moved to Harris Tea Company facilities in New Jersey and Georgia. Harris will transfer 10 employees in sales, marketing, accounting, and administrative jobs. The factory was built by Hansen almost 100 years ago and initially processed Salada Tea. Redco retains ownership and will continue to market its Teekanne and Junket tea brands.
Red Rose in the United States is blended to a different recipe than its parent, Red Rose of England. The latter is owned by Unilever and distributed in Canada where it remains a top-selling brand.
That is not the case in the U.S. where Salada and Red Rose both suffered during the past few years from a slowdown in sales of no-frills, tag-less, traditional bagged tea.
Salada was first blended in 1892 by Theodore Harding Estabrooks of Wicklow, New Brunswick, Canada and reformulated for the U.S. market.
Moorestown, New Jersey-based Harris Tea Co. is one of the largest private label tea manufacturers in the U.S. with a portfolio that includes Newman’s Own Organic Tea, Southern Breeze Sweet Tea, Big Tea, Tea India, Chai Moments; as well as Wonder Drink Kombucha and Secret Squirrel Cold Brew Coffee through its affiliate company, Pure Steeps.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to build and grow two long standing, iconic brands to meet the needs of today’s tea consumer,” said Harris CEO Ray Borooah.
The agreement allows Harris Tea Company and Redco Foods to better serve their customers nationwide, according to the company. The two brands combine more than 100 years of expertise in tea sourcing, buying, manufacturing, selling, and marketing.
Harris operates a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) British Retail Consortium (BRC) certified facility. BRC certification is an internationally recognized mark of food safety and quality recognized by the GFSI, a collaboration between the world’s leading food manufacturers.
Beginning in 1967 Red Rose enclosed in its boxes of tea a style of figurines known as “Wade Whimsies.” These first appeared in Quebec and have been a regular promotion in Red Rose Tea in the U.S. since 1983. It is estimated that more than 300 million Wade figurines have been given away in packages of Red Rose Tea in America. As of summer 2018 the figurines were no longer distributed in boxes of tea in the U.S., but are available with online orders, per promotional material inserted in the boxes sold in stores in place of the figurines.
Source: Harris Tea Company