Policy

‘Tea for teens’ campaign is brewing

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on July 10, 2018 Published on July 10, 2018

There are close to 350 million people, primarily children, who currently do not drink tea at all   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Tepid growth in consumption forces industry to look to schools

India’s tea industry has lost its mojo, and it is looking to children for help.

Struggling with near-flatline growth in consumption, the Indian Tea Association hopes to promote tea as a ‘healthy drink’ among schoolchildren.

Nearly 30 per cent of the population, including schoolchildren, do not drink tea, the association says. It is this segment that the industry hopes to tap.

“We are working on a strategy to promote tea primarily among teenagers. We have done it with youths, colleges and now, we want do it through schools,” said ITA Chairman Azam Monem.

India’s per capita tea consumption is 786 g, against 1.2 kg in Pakistan, 1.1 kg in the UK, and 1.3 kg in Russia. The low consumption growth, and a production boom has led to an oversupply of 100-120 million kg a year, thereby impacting prices.

Finalising campaign

ITA has engaged two ad agencies to come up with proposals for a campaign. Monem said he hopes to finalise it in 1-2 months.

There are about 350 million people, primarily children, who do not drink tea, he said.

In 2015-16, the ITA had launched a ‘Chai Ho Jaye’ campaign to promote tea consumption. In 2016-17, it extended the campaign.

According to Monem, the lounge concept was introduced under the ‘Chai Ho Jaye’ campaign in 2015. The tea lounges were designed to serve three varieties of tea: the English, dhaba, and the mocktail style.

Based on the success of the campaign, ITA extended it to tap younger audiences.

“There were several takeaways from these campaigns. One was the growing acceptance for the lounge concept. Secondly, youth look forward to different tea varieties, particularly cold-brew variants. We communicated this to the packers,” he said.

Exports

Indian tea has seen a steady demand in overseas markets, particularly Iran, Egypt and Russia. The industry is looking to gain a foothold in Iraq. India exported close to 50 kg of tea to Iraq about five years ago, but since then exports there have nearly stopped, Monem said.

“A delegation headed by the Commerce Ministry and the Tea Promotion Council, along with our representatives, will visit Iraq during July 23-26, he said.

Published on July 10, 2018
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