Lead players in the Indian branded tea segment are drawing up a new gameplan to woo consumers. In a strategic move, Godrej Tea Ltd is planning to expand its distribution network to reach out to a wider target audience. Incidentally, the company plans to add 50,000 outlets to its existing network which includes 1,50,000 outlets. In addition, the company is chalking out new packaging plans, media initiatives and consumer offers.
Meanwhile, Tata Tea Ltd is beefing up its distribution network in key areas. To start with, the company plans to focus on the ‘emerging self- service segment’. Explains Tata Tea Ltd vice-president (marketing) Vivek Mathur: “We will be strengthening our operations in alternative channels to reach the lower population strata and rural markets. Also, we are looking at improvement in key channel (stockists/retailers) servicing parameters.”
On Tata Tea’s strategy, Mr Mathur says the company plans to invest aggressively for sustainable growth. Primarily, the company’s marketing focus will be on building big brands (by investing on priority brands) and on others selectively. “We plan to invest on innovation and media to enhance the category value. Our mantra is to balance topline and bottomline growth this year,” he adds.
Meanwhile, the new entrant in the branded tea segment, Dilmah Tea is gearing up to take on established players in this overcrowded category. To start with, Dilmah is in the midst of creating a new multi-media ad campaign to promote its new launches. In addition, the company has recently entered the iced tea segment in a quiet move.
On the company’s new initiative, explains Dilmah country manager Tommy Joseph: “We now offer Dilmah tea bags which can be used to prepare iced tea. Dilmah tea bags are available in four flavours—lemon, peach, cherry and mint—to prepare both hot and iced tea.”
Even as major players in the branded tea market are still exploring the option of entering the iced tea segment, new entrant Dilmah has already introduced tea bags for preparing iced tea, observes an FMCG analyst in Mumbai.
On Tata Tea’s foray into the iced tea segment, Mr Mathur says the company is currently evaluating the market and the business opportunities therein. “If the market looks promising, we will then enter the iced tea segment as part of our growth plans,” he adds.
As for Godrej Tea’s foray into the iced tea business, industry sources say the company is seriously evaluating the option of entering this new segment by the year end. However, company sources refused to divulge details on the new initiatives in this direction.
At present, Godrej Tea Ltd has two brands in its product portfolio, namely Godrej Chai House and Godrej Noble House (a premium brand). “Last year, we entered the branded tea segment and our sales turnover now stand at Rs 50 crore,” say company sources.
As part of the marketing strategy, Godrej Tea Ltd is planning to introduce new packaging and media initiatives to promote its brands in the Indian marketplace. “We are also looking at attractive consumer offers to add value to our products,” add company sources.