The big players in the tea industry have begun copying
marketing tactics of small players and though their efforts
are on a much larger scale the basic idea remains the
tea players, who retail mainly loose tea, offer a unique
selling proposition, and that is to provide tea keeping
individual preferences in mind. Thus, at any of the teashops
that dot the markets of metros and mini metros across
India, customers can order special blends of tea by outlining
their preferences. Thus, customers who desire strong,
yet fragrant, flavoured tea can get what they want and
that too after tasting the required beverage.
big tea companies selling packed tea competing with this
kind of service is virtually impossible but one such company
seems to have found a way to compete with the smaller
players who are eating into its market share.
Duncan''s group with brands like Double Diamond, Sargam,
Shakti and Runglee Rungliot has set up a chain of tea
parlours under the Duncan''s Tea House brand in Kolkata
in an effort to have a branded presence in the loose tea
segment. Company officials say the company intends to
give its customer the ultimate perfect tea-blend within
the shortest possible time so that the freshness of tea
present at Duncan''s Tea House more than 10,000 cups of
tea are sampled everyday and all the people walking in
at Duncan''s Tea House are assured of getting a cup tea
regardless of whether they buy anything. And in the famed
tradition of loose tea sellers it may be a strong tea
or flavoured one or just the right blend.
Tea House has about 80 outlets in West Bengal. By the
end of 2003, the company plans to have about 250 such
outlets in the state. It also plans to expand on a national
scale and will open outlets in Gujarat, the largest tea-consuming
state in the country, and from there to Madhya Pradesh,
east Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
is among the big players in the tea industry, owning 13
tea estates located in the Dooars, Terai and Darjeeling.
The packet tea business of the company enjoys a market
share of 7-8 per cent.
total consumption of tea in India is 550 million kg, of
which about half is sold in a loose form and the rest
in packets. In West Bengal,
of the total tea consumption of 45-million kg, 90 per
cent of it is sold in loose form. In other parts of India
too the percentage of consumers buying loose tea is almost
the same as that in West Bengal.