Tea Board to Advertise tea

The figure is 1kg in Pakistan, around 1.5kg in Sri Lanka, 1.2kg in China, but only 730gm in India.

The abysmally low annual per capita consumption of tea in a country that produces 900 million kg of the beverage every year has prompted the Tea Board of India to employ two private agencies to find a solution to the problem.

“So far, we concentrated on increasing exports while the domestic market took a backseat,” G. Boriah, the director (tea development) of the board, said over phone from Calcutta. “Now we have decided to conduct a study on the pattern of tea consumption in the country and launch new ad campaigns.”

The new advertisements will be in addition to the existing television promos, he added. The Union finance ministry has sanctioned Rs 35 crore for domestic tea promotion under the 11th five-year plan. In the 10th plan, the amount was Rs 16 crore.

Sources said the board has selected Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) for the ad campaigns and ORG-Marg for the survey.

Boriah said the board would also monitor “the standard of tea bushes and factories”. “It is clear that unless tea consumption is increased across the country, it would be tough for the industry to sustain itself, keeping in mind the possible increase in supply once the special purpose tea fund is put to use,” he said.

The special fund is to be used to rejuvenate and replant tea bushes in gardens across the country.

Tea board officials said the domestic market has huge potential. If people in India have 2-3 more cups of tea every day, it would lead to an additional consumption of 75 million kg per year, one of them said.

The board is also looking at “iced tea” to increase sales. “India’s climate is hot and people here prefer cold beverages,” Boriah said. “The proposal to offer them something cool like iced tea was finalised earlier and now we would project it through campaigns. It is likely to hit the market by next summer,” he added.

A few companies, however, have already launched iced tea on their own.

Source: The Telegraph