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Small is better: Branded tea majors brew fresh battle

24-November-2004
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Small is better: Branded tea majors brew fresh battle

Even as Godrej Tea Ltd is gearing up to launch its brands in economy packs, Dilma Tea is stepping up its marketing plans to popularise its brand in the Indian marketplace. Meanwhile, Tata Tea Ltd is evaluating the options of launching its products in economy packs after seeing the success of Tata Agni’s low cost units. Apparently, a new marketing war is brewing between swadeshi and videshi players in the branded tea segment.

For starters, Godrej is test-marketing its brands Godrej Chai House and Godrej Noble House in sachets priced at Rs 10. Incidentally, Hindustan Lever Ltd had introduced its flagship brand Brooke Bond Red Label in value packs priced at Rs 10 (200 ml) just a few months ago.

On Godrej Tea’s new packaging plans, says Godrej Tea Ltd managing director A Mahendran: “We are currently test-marketing a new concept—Godrej tea in economy packs. Recognising the increasing need for ‘low-cost units (sachets)’ in this sector, we opted for this initiative.”

On the other side of the spectrum, Tata Tea is exploring the options of launching its major brands in ‘low-cost units’ to widen its customer base, informs Tata Tea Ltd vice-president (marketing & sales) Vivek Mathur.

“Recently, we introduced Tata Agni in two economy packs priced at Rs 10 and 5, respectively. After seeing the encouraging response to this initiative, we are looking at the prospect of launching our other brands in low-cost units too,” he says.

Across the road, Dilma Tea, a leading international brand has tied up with Java Green Webworld in a bid to reach out to a wider target audience. Explains Dilma Tea (MJF Group) country manager Tommy Joseph, “With this tie-up, Dilma tea in four variants will be served at leading outlets of Java Green across the country. We recently entered the iced tea segment by offering branded tea packs to our clients.”

Incidentally, Dilma is focusing only on experiential marketing techniques to promote its tea brands in India. According to Mr Joseph, the company hosts ‘sampling’ activities in leading supe markets across the country. “Our focus is on below-the-line activities which include consumer promotions and sampling exercises to promote Dilma brand in India,” he adds.

At present, Hindustan Lever leads the pack in the packed tea segment in India and the other major players include Tata Tea and Godrej Tea, among others. Godrej Tea, part of the Godrej Group, entered the branded tea market in January 2003 while Dilma forayed into the Indian marketplace in June 2003.

“Our products are already available in the north, west and southern regions of the country. We are in the process of rolling out Dilma in the eastern region,” says Mr Joseph.

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