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Wednesday, June 20, 2021

How does the tea industry counter the popularity of all those frappucino-like fancy coffee drinks? By getting fancy themselves, as a Sri Lanka producer is doing by equating single-source tea leaves with wine-like vintage grades:

So the Dilmah Group - the name is taken from the first syllables of the brothers’ names - has positioned itself like fine wine. Its elegant packaging is heavy with wine iconography: descriptive labels equating a robust black tea to a shiraz, or a fine white leaf to champagne. The aim is to present the tea as the purest in the world while also playing to consumers’ health concerns and rising enviro-consciousness.

Unlike the blends in an average tea bag, which can contain leaves from several countries, Dilmah teas, it says, are from a single origin. “You have to regard tea in the same way as you would an immaculate vintage,” says the brothers’ 77-year-old father, group patriarch Merrill Fernando. “People need to know what they are drinking.”

That’s an attractive pitch, but it doesn’t wash with Dilmah’s main competitors, beverage majors like Unilever, whose Lipton brand is world leader with 15 percent of the global market, and Associated British Foods, second with Twinings at 6 percent. “The wine analogy is fairly ridiculous in big wine-drinking countries, which also tend to be tea drinkers,” says John Cornish, Twinings’ international marketing director.

But in the United States, where there are more than enough beverage affectationers, I can see this approach taking off. Combined with the continued success of promoting tea as a curative drink, this kind of packaging should lead to brisk sales.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/20/2007 09:09:15 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food, Business | Permalink | Feedback


My hope for an alternative to today’s lacking portable-device batteries is getting another boost. A Chinese company, HiTech Wealth, has rolled out a cellphone — the S116 — sporting solar panels for longer-lasting operating time.

It’s not fully reliant upon sunlight just yet:

The panels trickle-charge the battery in any amount of light, including indoors (or even by candlelight), and the battery life is 2.5 times longer than it would be without the panels. An hour of direct sunlight will give users 40 extra minutes of talk time.

But hey, it’s a start. I’m looking forward to seeing this approach become mainstream over the next five years. Anything to extend the limited energy sources we now have to settle for.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/20/2007 08:36:08 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback