Global luxury tea brand Tea Forté is escalating its efforts in the travel retail channel, pushing its presence in key markets to the next level under Miami-based ACTIUM. The agency was appointed as Tea Forté’s exclusive representative for Travel Retail World Wide and Latin America and Caribbean domestic markets last February.
Tea Forté is all about the exceptional experience of tea, says Zachary Boiko, who is in charge of the brand for global travel retail (excluding the Caribbean and Latin America) at ACTIUM.
“The hand-crafted teas are presented in luxurious packaging, perfect for gifting. The brand is developing in the travel retail channel by focusing on its gourmet offer, which redefines the contemporary tea experience and injects innovation and excitement in-store,” says Boiko.
ACTIUM reports to David Ferreira (previously Head of Global Travel Retail with Cross), who came to Tea Forté as Vice President of Retail last year. In his new role, Ferreira is responsible for travel retail, wholesale and distributors. Ferreira reports to CEO Michael Gebrael, another well-known former travel retail executive.
Boiko joined ACTIUM from Starboard Cruise Services in February of this year to handle Tea Forté. He oversees travel retail worldwide excluding Caribbean and LATAM, which is covered by ACTIUM’s Beverages Division.
The award-winning gourmet tea company known for its iconic patented pyramid-shaped infuser has been recognized for its flavor blends and design in competition after competition. Recent winning flavors include global and North American tea champions Moroccan Mint, Caramel Nougat, English Breakfast, Orchid Vanilla and Blueberry Merlot (among others). It is also the Exclusive House Purveyor of Fine Tea for the James Beard Foundation.
Over the past few years, SOFI, the Specialty Food Association, has also named Tea Forté the Best Hot Beverage (twice), Best Gourmet Gift (three times), and also gave it its Best Package and Design award. Specifically in travel retail, Tea Forté won Frontier Magazine Buyer’s Forum Seal of Approval for its Presentation Box Tea Tasting Assortment this past May.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has even recognized Tea Forté’s ICON Au Infuser for its design.
Tea Forté and ACTIUM are leveraging these award-winning flavors and presentations into exciting interactive airport activations with high–profile tea tastings in heavy traffic areas. Tastings have taken place with DFS in Hawaii and with Duty Free Americas in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Tea Forté conducted a full service tea tasting in JFK Terminal 8 in June, and has conducted numerous self-service tastings in JFK Terminal 1 and 8 with International Shoppes throughout the year.
“To communicate our exceptional tea drinking experience we have focused on conducting tea tastings throughout key airports,” says Boiko. “This gives the customer a chance to see, touch and taste Tea Forté.” The company has more tea tastings scheduled throughout the remainder of 2017, he says.
Tea Forté and ACTIUM will focus on both on-premise and off-premise strategies going forward, says Boiko.
On-premise, the companies are targeting cruise lines, airline and airport lounges.
“We are currently serving Tea Forté in upscale restaurants and VIP suites on Cunard, Norwegian and Celebrity cruise lines with more ships currently in negotiation. We are also working to serve Tea Forté onboard airlines in 1st and business class as well as in the VIP lounges.
“We believe Tea Forté is the perfect gourmet tea to enjoy while traveling or vacationing around the world. Tea Forté’s quality teas and design are sure to create a memorable experience whether taking a break during a layover, relaxing inflight or cruising the oceans,” says Boiko.
Off-premise, the message focuses on gifting as well as self-enjoyment. “Tea Forté makes for the perfect gift for family and friends or a special treat for yourself. We are present in top airports around the world with Lotte, DFS, DFA, International Shoppes and NewsLink and are continuing to expand in key markets and locations,” he says.
ACTIUM is now targeting key airports in the U.S. and internationally, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Heathrow and Hong Kong.
Innovative flavors and blends
The company continues to make its mark with innovative flavors and presentations.
Among the most noteworthy of the new Tea Forté introductions for this year are:
Bleu, a collection of all natural blends with incredible blue color derived from the Butterfly Pea Flower. The five different shades of blue result from such ingredients as goji berries, flower blossoms and flavors including hibiscus (imparting a more purple shade). Each has been orchestrated to offer a beautifully balanced taste experience
Matcha, a healthful collection of stone ground matcha teas that are served in a single steep format. The collection comprises five matcha flavors: chai, chocolate, pure, ginger and coconut and comes with accessories that include a ceremonial bowl set with handmade bamboo whisk and measuring ladle to ensure the full traditional experience.
Chakra is a collection of Masala Chai teas designed to deliver ‘inner peace,” along with balance and harmony. The five blends in the collection are mate mantra, vanilla veda, ginger guru, rooibos raja and turmeric tantra.
Along with its award winning tea blends and the iconic design of the pyramid tea infusers, Tea Forté also offers an array of accessories to enhance its tea offerings.
“With their high attention to detail and luxurious finishes, the accessories add another element in elevating the Tea Forté experience,” says Boiko.
In addition to its best-selling Icon Au- 23k gold plated infuser, which was recognized by MoMa, Tea Forté is now introducing the Icon Lusso, a platinum plated tea infuser in the signature pyramid shape, complete with a turquoise colored monogrammed ceramic tray. Tea Forté is also introducing the Kati Cup that comes with an in-cup infuser and pairs with the single steeps loose leaf tea.
Tea Forté puts high stock in staying in touch with its consumers, connecting to travelers, tea drinkers and social media aficionados around the world through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube, and is highlighting Tea Forté products and the tea drinking experience within the travel arena, says Boiko. Tea Forté and ACTIUM will be partnering with duty free operators, cruise ship partners and other clients to communicate where Tea Forté is available. For more information, contact TeaForté@Actium.us