Now, along with Tata Tea (a product of Tata Global Beverages Ltd), Brooke Bond (Hindustan Unilever Ltd) and Wagh Bakri Tea, we can have some new entrants in the market. Bulk tea producers are looking to enter the packet tea business to improve profitability and de-risk portfolios. Two of India’s largest producers of bulk tea — market leader, McLeod Russel India and the second-largest producer, Amalgamated Plantations (APPL) — are said to be exploring a possible entry into the segment. McLeod plans to ink a joint venture agreement with Willamson Magor Group arm Eveready Industries India to develop the packet tea business through a separate entity. Tata Global’s associate company APPL is looking to tie up with loose tea sellers and lend its brand name.
According to industry experts, packet tea accounts for roughly 50 per cent of the country’s total tea consumption, pegged at one billion kg. India’s annual tea consumption has been growing at 2.5–3 per cent. Growth in the rural economy and demand for packaged products is also increasing. Hence, a rise in conversion from loose to packet tea is on the anvil, experts feel.