Kanan Devan gears up for online sale of premium teas

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on March 28, 2017

tea leaves

Come April, super premium speciality teas from Kanan Devan will be available online, thanks to surging demand from upcountry buyers.

The Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company, South India’s largest tea producer with an annual production of 25 million kg, will launch an e-commerce portal on April 1. The date marks the beginning of the 13th year of the company’s operations in Munnar since it took over operations from the erstwhile Tata Tea Ltd on April 1, 2005.

K Mathew Abraham, Managing Director and CEO, told BusinessLine that some Kanan Devan teas are available on Amazon, and the clientele response to its single-origin teas such as Green Tea classic, White Tea, Rose Tea Premium under the Ripple Tea brand has been very good.

Marketing these super premium speciality tea products through the e-portal will help the company reach customers across geographies. As an introductory offer, it will offer attractive discounts.

Abraham said the company’s branded tea business has been growing at a healthy 20 per cent a year though the sale of these products was largely confined to Kerala.

KDHP’s Green Tea Classic is a popular green tea produced from one leaf and a bud, which renders it rich in polyphenols; and being high-grown imparts a unique flavour and aroma, he added.

Asked about the tea sector’s prospects in 2017, Abraham said he hopes the early rains in March will enable better production in April and May. But follow-up showers are critical, since the sector experienced a bad drought.

Regarding pricing, Abraham said, “orthodox teas are expected to do better this year as well due to the shortfall in Sri Lankan production. The CTC market hinges on supply-demand factors; South India was affected by one of the worst droughts last year, and with lower Kenyan production due to unfavourable weather since November, we expect CTC prices to be firm in the new season.”

Today, increases in tea prices are not in line with cost of production and wages, and “unless this gap is narrowed, the sector could continue to face crises,” Abraham added.

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Published on March 28, 2017
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