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Plantextrakt hopes to infuse innovative tea demand

By Neil Merrett , 29-Sep-2008
Last updated the 29-Sep-2008 at 14:01 GMT

A German supplier of natural ingredients hopes to shake its presence in the Irish and UK tea-based beverage markets through a new distribution partnership in both countries.

From next month, Plantextrakt, which already sells goods in both markets, claims that working with ingredients firm Claremont will grant it a physical presence in the UK and Ireland to target greater innovation in tea-based beverages.

The company said that the UK and Irish markets, like a number of European countries, have huge potential for drinks that will make use of its range of herbal and tea-based extracts and flavours, segments that remain relatively niche as yet.

The group added that it already operated in most European markets and would continue to look for new areas to expand into, particularly in emerging Eastern areas.

Group spokesperson Oliver Hehn said that Plantextrakt had been previously supplying both the UK and Irish markets from Germany, with its latest cooperation particularly suited for a beverage focus.

“Claremont is well established in the beverage, dairy and confectionary segments we also serve,” he stated.

Product innovation

Hehn said that one of the main uses for it extracts was in ready-to-drink (RTD) iced tea beverages, even though the market is relatively small in the UK, a country famous for its love of beverage when hot. However, the company said that the UK presented a number of opportunities for its products that would be better served by strengthening its presence in the country through the distribution partnership.

“We think there is a lot of growth potential for near water products containing ‘a hint of tea extract’,” he stated. “Furthermore, we see significant potential for herbals within beverages, dairy products and infant foods.”

On top of new products, Hehn claimed that it products were well placed to respond to consumer demand for natural products and additives.

Investment and demand

The company said that by making use of Claremont’s established operations in the country, it did not have to make any significant spending for the agreement, which commences on 1 October this year.

The move to expand their focus in both the UK and Western Europe could prove prudent for the group, with the region enjoying strong growth for sales of tea-based beverages.

Between 2002 and 2006, the market for RTD tea products grew 7.4 per cent to €1.5bn, according to consumer analyst Euromonitor.

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