The tea is being released in Tesco Nutricentre in the UK this month, and the brand says it will appeal to people who want more from their normal food and drink – with tea being an ‘everyday affair.’
Each serve of Daily Cultures contains more than 1bn friendly bacteria, which are heat resistant and do not affect the taste of the tea. The company says the patented Ganeden BC30 probiotic is up to 10 times more effective than some dairy cultures in yogurts. The probiotic is EFSA and FDA approved.
‘A lot of people are interested in digestive health – but want more convenient products’
Behind the brand are two F&B veterans who hail from Clipper Teas, which became the UK’s first fair trade black tea in 1994 and has built its success on its ethical, natural and organic foundations. Mike Brehme founded Clipper Teas in 1984, while Tony Revill-Johnson was CEO of the company from 2007 - 2012.
Revill-Johnson - who was also a founding member of Tropicana UK - told BeverageDaily.com consumers want easier, more ‘everyday’ ways to consume probiotics.
“We looked at where health and wellness trends are going in beverages, and concluded that because digestive health and tea were big markets, putting the two together just made sense,” he said, adding this had been important to the consumers they talked to in the development phase.
Revill-Johnson believes that, with the global digestive health market worth £53bn ($80bn) and probiotics taking a 40% chunk of the sector, there’s an opportunity to give people an easier way to consume probiotics.
“Tea is an everyday affair, so with a probiotic we are giving consumers the easy way to feel good every day,” he said. “Our research shows that a lot of consumers are very interested in digestive health but also want more convenient products than dairy or supplements.
“The added attraction is Daily Cultures are dairy, gluten and sugar free – giving it real appeal to modern consumers.”
The Daily Cultures range currently consists of breakfast, green and peppermint teas. The teas taste exactly the same as traditional teas, said Revill-Johnson. With FDA approval for the probiotic, he is open to conversations on US and international distribution.
But he prides Stir Drinks (the company behind the teas) as being an ‘innovations company,’ with plans to launch more products in the coming years.
“We are trying to genuinely innovate, rather than do slightly different variations of existing products,” he explained. “Daily Cultures is a UK first and we hope to generate significant growth from products that give consumers more from their everyday drinks.”
So what’s next? “Definitely more beverages; and we also see a few mass market opportunities in food. But we are focusing on where we see the biggest wins,” he said.
Dorset-based Clipper Teas was bought by Wessanen in 2012.
“My experience with brands like Tropicana, and of course our shared experience with Clipper, taught us that growing a great brand meant top product quality and a real point of difference that consumers want,” said Revill-Johnson.