Removal of overwrap plus switch to biodegradable bags

PG tips, the nation’s favourite cuppa[1], has become the first major tea brand[2] to start the switch to a fully plant-based range. This is following the start of the removal of the outer plastic overwrap on its 160s retail packaging, and the completion of the switch of the pyramid tea bags to a plant-based material derived from fully biodegradable corn starch.

The switch to wrap-less boxes began at the end of 2019 on the 160s and is being rolled out across the entire range in the first half of next year. With consumers five times more likely to buy sustainable products[3], the new format provides retailers with a fully plant-based product that shoppers are actively looking for, whilst also driving sales and category growth.

With nine billion PG tips tea bags enjoyed by cuppa lovers every year in the UK, PG tips officially introduced plant-based bags in 2018 and is now the first major tea brand2 to have fully biodegradable tea bags in all its retail boxes.

Fiachra Moloney, Tea Director, Unilever UK&I said: “We’ve been working towards making the switch to a fully plant-based product for several years. This journey has not been without its challenges, and we’ve had to adapt along the way to ensure we weren’t compromising on the great taste we are known for. Being the first major tea brand to have biodegradable tea bags across our entire range as well as moving to plant-based packaging on our 160s packs is something we’re incredibly proud of. We are looking forward to making the transition to the rest of our range by summer 2021.”

The PG tips boxes will feature clear messaging on the front and back of the pack to ensure shoppers are aware of the biodegradable tea bags.

PG tips’ Manchester factory, where the tea is blended and packaged, is also carbon neutral with 100% of the energy used coming from renewable sources. 

[1] Nielsen Tea Total Market Volume (kg) MAT 16.05.20

[2] Major tea brand refers to those with > 10% Share of Sales Value (%) Nielsen Total Tea MAT 16.05.20

[3] Harvard Business Review: Research: Actually, Consumer Do Buy Sustainable Products

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