By Daniel Woolfson 26 April 2022
The brand debuted in tea bags in 2018 but has now been given a complete reimagining Tea Rex, the fresh fruit tea brand, is looking to re-enter the mults after a complete reimagination. The brand, which debuted in 2018 with a range of bagged fresh teas which required a disposable strainer, was relaunched quietly online last year in a new sustainable tube format, which comes with a metal reusable strainer. It was now looking to re-enter the supermarkets, its founder Andrew Walker told The Grocer.
When it first attempted to secure long-term space in the mults, it made headlines with stunts such as besieging Sainsbury’s Merton store with an army of inflatable dinosaurs and completing a successful £8,000 funding round. However it faced issues such as “the simplicity of the product – the sachet just wasn’t easy enough to use”, said Walker. ”And then there was the [packaging] sustainability angle,” said Walker. “We put the business in flight mode and went back to the drawing board.”
The brand’s new tubes are made with sugar cane and offer 10 servings, with a shelf life of up to a year unopened. Compared to the brand’s original bags, which needed to be kept in supermarket chillers, the tubes are ambient – meaning they could be ranged in typical tea fixtures, said Walker. Since quietly hitting the market last year online, the brand had sold the equivalent of 900,000 cups of tea. “Our business has completely changed,” he added. “We now get 180 comments a day on Facebook. In a year we have gone to making just under a quarter of a million.”
It has updated the range to include five flavours: Lemon & Ginger, Lemon, Ginger & Turmeric, Rhubarb & Ginger, Earl Grey, and Roibos & Blood Orange.
“We are now starting those conversations [with retailers],” he said. “We’re always going to have a challenge because in tea there are such huge incumbents. But our DTC play now gives us the data so go back to the likes of Tesco and say this is an incremental audience and add incremental value to the category. We’ve done a year and proven the model online.”