Numi Organic Tea rebrands, moves more into health and function

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

Numi believes that functional drinks are the way forward, and drinking chocolates could become a big category in coffee shops and cafes.
Numi believes that functional drinks are the way forward, and drinking chocolates could become a big category in coffee shops and cafes.

Related tags Tea tea drinks Sleep Fancy Food Show Specialty food association Turmeric

US organic tea brand Numi debuted a branding refresh at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco last week, alongside new functional sleep teas and premium drinking chocolates.

Numi, which was founded in 1999 in California, is shifting from its position as a purely tea company to a wellness-focused beverage company. It is starting its better-for-you drink collection with Sweet Slumber, a new tea with valerian root, hops, passionflower, chamomile and lavender.

The drink seeks to relieve stress and inspire rest and relaxation: Reem Hassani, co-founder of Numi, told BeverageDaily the valerian root provides a ‘gentle relaxation’ without the grogginess of other sleep aids.

In Numi’s 20-year history, the majority of their products have been based in tea. Recently it launched 2oz daily wellness shots featuring ingredients like pomegranate, turmeric, matcha, reishi mushroom and apple cider vinegar.

The Sweet Slumber moves the brand even further into wellness. Hassani said Numi will next focus on stress and relaxation specific teas, looking at adaptogens and herbs that are heart-opening.

WFFS numi 2

The brand's refresh includes highlighting its ingredients, redesigning the logo, imagery and graphics. Numi said it's an opportunity to solidify its brand personality and unique characteristics to stand out on the shelf, while still maintaining its core values.

Sustainable for the future

Also previewing at Fancy Food was a line of four drinking chocolates. Dark chocolate crumbles are packaged in pouches, designed to be melted down and mixed with either milk or water. Hassani likened them to a rich, thick cup of hot cocoa.

The cocoa is sourced from a fair trade partner in Peru that Numi has a longstanding relationship with. Dash of Salt, Touch of Chile, Shroom Power and Kick of Mocha will launch in foodservice bags in February, and roll out to retail July.

“Our whole idea is to get into adjacent categories and expand,”​ Hassani said, and the team thinks that drinking chocolates could become a big category in coffee shops and cafes. They are also low in sugar and paleo-friendly.

Connected to Numi’s latest launches is its strong commitment to sustainability. The company developed a new plant-based tea wrapper, made from renewable sugarcane and 100% FSC certified paper. This guarantees no eco-toxicity when it breaks down, and it also requires less carbon to produce than traditional plastic.

“Our new packaging is more eco-friendly than ever with the launch of our new, plant-based tea wrappers. We still use 90% post-consumer waste paper cartons, soy-based inks, and biodegradable Manila hemp tea bags, as we’ve done for the past 20 years,”​ Hassani said.

The renewable resources used to make the new wrappers reduces Numi’s reliance on fossil fuels. Hassani said Numi has a climate action plan, and believes all companies should be transitioning to sustainable and eco-friendly packaging.

“I think it should be the focus of everyone, because the technology is starting to come out. The problem is it’s really expensive. So the more companies that do something like that, the cheaper and more accessible it will be,”​ Hassani said.

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