China Food

The world’s largest tea company behind Lipton has undergone great changes in China! We had a chat with the boss of Asia and Australia

在告别联合利华之后,茶包巨头立顿等品牌正在中国市场开启全新篇章。

As introduced by the snack agent, in July this year, Unilever announced that it had completed the sale of its tea business ekatera to CVC, a private equity company, at a price of 4.5 billion euros, and ekatera became the new “world’s largest tea company”. At present, ECOTEC operates 34 tea brands, including Lipton, PG tip, pukka, T2 and Tazo.

“This is a very exciting new beginning for us.” Jennifer antczak (Chinese Name: Shang Dexin), President of ECOTEC Asia and Australia and general manager of Greater China, told xiaoshidai today that China is currently the top ten markets of ECOTEC in the world. “Our goal is to become the top five. The driving force behind this growth mainly comes from our brand strength, channel strength and innovation ability.”

Jennifer antczak, President of ECOTEC Asia and Australia and general manager of Greater China

In the above-mentioned exclusive communication with snack generation, she revealed that ECOTEC has formed a new “team lineup” in China, and also talked about the latest playing methods of Lipton, the world’s largest tea bag brand, in the Chinese market. Next, let’s listen to the ideas of the new leader.

be younger

Lipton, which sells about 2 billion cups of tea in China every year, is the biggest trump card in the hands of this “new comer” tea company.

“Lipton is the world’s largest tea bag brand and also our most important brand in China, accounting for more than 90% of our revenue.” Jennifer revealed to the snack generation that at present, ECOTEC is introducing T2, pukka and other tea brands through cross-border e-commerce channels, but they are all small-scale trials. “In the future, we really hope to enrich the brand matrix, but at present, our focus is still on Lipton.”

According to the data of Euromonitor, in 2021, Lipton still occupied the market share of bag brewing black tea in China

“When Lipton entered China 30 years ago, it was very attractive to young people, especially white-collar workers. At that time, everyone drank loose tea. When many people came to the office, they first came into contact with tea bags and drank Lipton’s tea bags. As time goes on, we need to re find resonance with young consumers.” Jennifer told the snack generation that for this reason, Lipton has successively launched 14 new products this year, “and we have seen some achievements.”.

Take the cold soaked fruit tea that was launched earlier this year as an example.

According to the data provided by Lipton, this series of new products became the first in tmall’s cold tea category after only 6 weeks. “Cold bubble tea is a new product that we are proud of. It has a unique technology that tastes in 30 seconds, and the consumption scene can be many yuan. You can throw this cold bubble tea bag into drinking water, bubble water, coconut water, beer and other beverage products to make the water better to drink or play fun. At the same time, because you don’t need to boil water to make tea, it is more convenient and helps reduce carbon.” Jennifer said.

In addition to tea bags, Lipton also constantly tries new product forms

For example, Lipton’s 2B business has many opportunities. “For example, in the catering channel, our White Peach Oolong and beer are mixed into a drink. If the consumer thinks it is delicious and fun, we hope that he can find our product information online through scanning and other methods, and can immediately place online orders. Therefore, we hope that in this scenario, the consumer’s catering experience, product content and shopping orders are connected and can be seamlessly connected.”

“This is also where I hope our team can continue to break through and grow. How to make our brand provide more added value, let the restaurant show our brand through the content and experience we provide to him, and let Lipton tea not only be a supplier of raw materials behind it. This is what we need to do next.” Jennifer told the snack generation.

“In the future, our team will be more interconnected and connected in Omni channel operation. Instead of using traditional 2B, 2C, or online and offline thinking to operate channels, we will really look at them from the perspective of consumers and how we can establish more meaningful contacts with them.” “We want to see not only o2o but also O + O,” she said

In addition, Jennifer mentioned to the snack generation that Lipton also has great opportunities in developing more local chain catering customers in China. According to the snack generation, Lipton China sells about 2 billion cups of tea every year, and the catering side also contributes a lot. It is reported that Lipton currently serves a number of well-known chain restaurants, including foreign and local brands, covering tens of thousands of restaurants nationwide.

“In addition to serving large-scale international chain catering brands (usually western fast food), I think the tea consumption market of Chinese food chain is very large, and Chinese food often has the habit of serving with tea. We hope to cooperate with more local chain catering enterprises to carry out product co creation and R & D, so as to create some new sparks.” She said.

New team

All these plans and goals will be realized by the ECOTEC China team with a new team.

“After being separated from Unilever, about 47% of the members of the (ECOTEC China) team are from the original Lipton. Therefore, they have a lot of professional knowledge that we can inherit. At the same time, we have also absorbed about 53% of talents from outside. We hope that after the establishment of the new company, these new forces can use a new vision to meet new challenges and carry out our new journey.” Jennifer told the snack generation.

Xiaoshidai understands that more than half of the new members are basically from the first-class FMCG companies in the industry and Internet enterprises. “Some of them come from coca cola, some from Pepsi, and many from platforms, including Alibaba or jd.com.” Jennifer said that ECOTEC is using a “start-up spirit” to promote its future development.

However, ECOTEC is obviously facing competition from real “start-ups”.

In recent years, in the Chinese market, a large number of local tea bag start-up brands have entered the competition with innovative ideas

The world’s largest tea company behind Lipton has undergone great changes in China! We had a chat with the boss of Asia and Australia

“从联合利华剥离出来后,现在(益科特中国)团队里大约有47%的成员来自原来的立顿,因此,他们有很多的专业知识是我们可以传承下来的。同时,我们也从外部吸纳了大约53%的人才,我们希望在新公司成立后,这些新的生力军能够用一个新视野,应对新挑战,开展我们的新旅程。”Jennifer告诉小食代。

小食代了解到,超过一半的新成员基本来自业内一流的快消品公司,以及互联网企业。“他们有来自可口可乐的,也有来自百事公司的,还有很多来自于平台,包括阿里巴巴或者是京东。”Jennifer表示,益科特正在用一个“初创公司的精神”来推动未来发展。


不过,益科特显然面临着来自真正的“初创公司”的竞争。

近年来,在中国市场,一大波本土的袋泡茶初创品牌带着创新想法涌入赛道,包括ChaLi茶里、茶小空、喜茶和奈雪的茶等。“我们很欢迎竞争,有竞争才会有进步,也把赛道变得更好玩,让更多的年轻人愿意喝茶。所以,我觉得大家一起把赛道做得更大,这对于茶品类来讲其实是一件很好的事情。”Jennifer表示。

在被问到是否会考虑投资或收购茶类新消费品牌时,她认为,立顿当下的重点是经营好自己的核心业务。“我们在7月才刚刚翻开新的篇章,所以我们的第一步一定是把我们的核心业务先稳扎稳打地做好,至于接下来要透过怎样子的方式去成长,是不是会并购,这不是在我们目前考虑的优先事项。”


在从联合利华剥离出来后,这家茶公司也为中国业务制定了高速成长的目标。

“原来在联合利华旗下时,茶业务并非这家综合性快消大公司最核心的业务,而剥离出来以后,我们作为一家纯粹的茶公司,是全球第一大的茶公司,规模是第二名的4倍多,我们可以真正聚焦在茶品类上,全心全意地经营我们的产品组合。”Jennifer说。

在营收规模和增速上,Jennifer向小食代表示,中国业务的目标是成为益科特全球前五大的市场之一,同时能够恢复到原来的每年收入“保持双位数增长”的水平。

“过去这两年,虽然受到疫情的影响没有实现过往的双位数增长,但也保持了高单位数的增长。今年上半年,疫情也对生意造成了影响,尤其是2B业务;不过,我们预计下半年可以加快脚步,希望全年可以实现低单位数的增长。”她说。

她指出,长期而言,益科特中国的愿景是要做一个有温度的品牌,跟年轻人连结,“结合植物跟科技的力量,做有益身心健康和对地球有好处的生意”。她提到,目前,该公司超过90%的茶包已经是可回收的,“我们计划在2025年之前,实现所有的茶包包装材料均可回收,包括外部的纸盒、内部的茶包材料等”。


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