Flat consumption growth pushes Indian tea industry to target school children – report

Flat growth in consumption is forcing the beleaguered Indian tea industry to look to school children for help, a newspaper reported.

Struggling with near-flatline growth in consumption, the Indian Tea Association hopes to promote tea as a ‘healthy drink’ among schoolchildren, the BusinessLine said in a report.

Nearly 30 per cent of the population, including schoolchildren, do not drink tea, the association says, the newspaper said, adding that tt is this segment that the industry hopes to tap.

“We are working on a strategy to promote tea primarily among teenagers. We have done it with youths, colleges and now, we want do it through schools,” the newspaper quoted  ITA Chairman Azam Monem, as saying.

According to the report, India’s per capita tea consumption is 786 g, against 1.2 kg in Pakistan, 1.1 kg in the UK, and 1.3 kg in Russia.

“The low consumption growth, and a production boom has led to an oversupply of 100-120 million kg a year, thereby impacting prices,” it said.

According to the newspaper, the ITA has engaged two ad agencies to come up with proposals for a campaign. Monem said he hopes to finalise it in about two months.

There are about 350 million people, primarily children, who do not drink tea, he said.

In 2015-16, the ITA had launched a ‘Chai Ho Jaye’ campaign to promote tea consumption. In 2016-17, it extended the campaign.

According to Monem, the lounge concept was introduced under the ‘Chai Ho Jaye’ campaign in 2015. The tea lounges were designed to serve three varieties of tea: the English, dhaba, and the mocktail style, the newspaper said.

Based on the success of the campaign, ITA extended it to tap younger audiences.

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