Rohnert Park, California-based Traditional Medicinals, a pioneer in the functional and condition-specific tea category, will build a $29.7 million East Coast herbal tea manufacturing and distribution facility in 2020. Founded in 1974 in Sebastopol, Calif., Traditional Medicinals is a Certified B-Corp.
The 125,000 sq. ft. expansion, located in Roanoke, Va., will employ 56 workers and create approximately 181 secondary jobs, generating an estimated $62 million in new business.
Traditional Medicinals manufactures 50 organic tea products available at 70,000 locations globally. The West Coast company is ranked fourth among U.S. tea ventures, accounting for about 5% of the U.S. loose-leaf market. Consumer favorites like Throat Coat grew by 12.9% in sales to earn $14 million during the 52 weeks ending Nov. 3, 2019, according to market research firm IRI. The company’s equally popular Smooth Move tea earned $15 million in mass market outlets in 2019. Combined sales approach $65 million in a loose-leaf segment that has experienced sluggish growth the past two years. The expansion will enable Traditional Medicinals to more aggressively challenge market leaders Celestial Seasonings ($130 million) and Bigelow ($200 million) in the nation’s grocery aisles.
Traditional Medicinals CEO Blair Kellison said the location embodies the company’s core values, “We’ve worked for decades to ensure that the work we do positively impacts both the environment and the people in the communities where we do business—both on a local level and in the 42 countries where we purchase herbs.”
The location is near the Port of Virginia, in a region with a large concentration of coffee and tea roasting and blending operations. The company received three quarters of a million dollars in grants and development support from local and state government.
In a report in the Augusta Free Press, Virginia Commonwealth Governor Ralph Northam called the decision to locate the company’s East Coast operation in Virginia “a strong reflection of our business-friendly environment, our infrastructure, and our work to support emerging food and beverage processing markets.”
“Traditional Medicinals is committed to strengthening rural communities and being good for the planet, and I welcome them to our Commonwealth,” said Northam.
Local US Rep. Denver Riggleman called the investment “a game changer for Franklin County.” He said the facility, part of a 550-acre industrial park, will create good jobs and have a “transformative effect” in the community.
*Total US Multi-Outlet w/ C-Store (Grocery, Drug, Mass Market, Convenience, Military and Select Club & Dollar Retailers)