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earl-greyCafédirect growers launch into speciality teas

Leading Fairtrade hot drinks company Cafédirect is adding two new speciality teas to its portfolio offering greater choice in the buoyant ethical tea category.

Sporting the brand’s new look the launch of Cafédirect’s Earl Grey and English Breakfast tea has been prompted by major shopper research undertaken last year. “Shoppers told us they would like to see Cafédirect expand its portfolio to ensure a quality Fairtrade option in all core segments of hot beverages,” says Jon Marlow, Cafédirect’s Head of Sales. “We chose to launch into speciality teas because of the strong growth performance in the speciality sector.”

Value sales of Earl Grey tea are growing at 4.4% in a market worth £20.8 million, and within that Fairtrade Earl Grey is up 147% over the same period. The market for English Breakfast tea is worth £11.2 million and growing at 2% while Fairtrade English Breakfast tea is up 83% year on year (MAT w/e 21 March ’09).

In blind taste tests conducted by a leading independent research company, Cafédirect’s new teas outperformed both the market leader and the leading ethical player in speciality teas. Described as a smooth light and refreshing tea, Earl Grey from Sri Lanka is delicately scented with natural oil of Bergamot to create the classic flavour and distinctive fragrance.
In contrast, English Breakfast is a brisk, bright and full bodied tea from Kenya. Both teas are made from 100% Fairtrade ingredients.

“The launch of Earl Grey and English Breakfast tea strengthens our offering within the category and provides an appealing entry point for shoppers looking for an ethical choice in speciality teas. Our loyal consumers will look to expand their repertoire with these new teas and by doing so it will add incremental value to the brand and the category,” says Marlow.

Cafédirect has been working with the Kelliewatte tea estate in Sri Lanka since 2006, constantly improving the quality of the crop in advance of the retail launch. Its tailor made support and training programmes for the Kelliewatte tea estate have resulted in increased yields and have created stronger, more dynamic and sustainable organisations.

As part of its growth strategy Cafédirect will continue its programme of new product development and a £3 million national press and digital advertising campaign will kick off in July.

Both new products will be available this month in packs of 50 tea bags with an rrp of £1.99.