The Rs 4,000 crore Godrej group is launching two tea brands, Godrej Noble House and Godrej Chai House, by January 2003 as part of its foray into beverages.
The group, which intends to be a niche player in tea, set up Godrej Tea, a subsidiary of Godrej Industries early this year.
The group currently holds 60 per cent stake in Godrej Tea, the remaining is held by Barua, the managing director of Godrej Tea and two non-resident Indians. The company is setting up a full fledged top management team under Pranab Barua.
According to company sources, the Godrej Noble House, consisting of Assam tea blended with Darjeeling tea is positioned as a super premium brand and Godrej Chai House with different blends is marketed as premium brand.
The company has roped in Ambience as its advertising agency to formulate a strategy to get its product across the masses.
Godrej Noble House is priced at Rs 210 per kg to compete with Taj Mahal and Tetley, while Godrej Chai House, tagged at Rs 160 per kg is positioned against Double Diamond, Red Label and Tata Tea. Godrej Tea blends and packs its two brands at Coimbatore, Nagpur and Kolkata.
Hindustan Lever is the market leader in tea, with a share of around 30 per cent, followed by Tata Tea at around 20 per cent.
The Godrej group is expanding its food business at a time when Godrej Foods, a division of Godrej Industries has been downplaying its current portfolio —Jumpin, Xs fruit juices, Cooklite sunflower oil, Godrej refined vegetable oil and Godrej Vanaspati. It recently forayed into biscuits.
The other players in the hot beverages include Tata Tea, Duncan’s, Nestle among others. Non-alcoholic beverages giant Coca Cola India recently launched its Georgia brand of tea and coffee.