There is a new concept in some travel retail shops in the Americas that is paying huge dividends for operators.
Tea Forte, the award-winning gourmet tea company known for its iconic patented pyramid-shaped infuser, has been developing in the travel retail channel since launching in the Americas three years ago, reports Moshe Cohen, vice president of global sales for the Concord, Massachusetts-based brand.
Tea Forté is the global luxury tea company available in over 35 countries where it is presented at leading hotels, restaurants, prestige resorts and high-end retailers.
“Known as the exceptional tea experience for our variety and unparalleled quality of hand-crafted teas, exquisite packaging and luxuriant approach, Tea Forté is the definitive cup of tea. Additionally, Tea Forté is selected as the exclusive House Purveyor of premium teas for the James Beard Foundation,” he adds.
“Our teas are affordable, gift-able, original, offer good shelf life, and have become top sellers in many of the locations where they are sold,” says Cohen.
Tea Forte is currently listed with DFS in Hawaii, Guam and San Francisco, with International Shoppes in all of its stores, in Miami International Airport at Prive Gourmet Market in the Ocean Drive boutique run by Newslink, and with Lotte Duty Free’s new shop in Seoul, South Korea.
“We tested our brand first with International Shoppes at JFK Terminal 1. It did so well that we are now in all of their stores, including two IS shops in Boston Logan with customized Tea Forte display units, as well as in Philadelphia and the IS Diplomatic store in New York,” says Cohen.
In MIA, sales of Tea Forte were so strong in Prive Gourmet Market in the branded Ocean Drive store that operator Newslink moved the brand into its own shop-in-shop concept that includes permanent sampling of hot and cold teas.
Cohen began selling Tea Forte in Latin America about 18 months ago and the line is now available with Neutral, and on the Bernabel ferries and port store, “where it is a top seller,” he reports. “We were listed with London Supply in Iguazu, where Tea Forte sold out so now we are expanding to all the London Supply stores. And we were recently listed with UETA for Punta Cana and Iquique, so we are very excited,” he says.
“We are selling affordable luxury and our teas have been successful with this passenger profile. We are making a new offer in confectionery and managing it like a luxury brand,” noted Cohen. “Tea Forte – with its iconic silken pyramid infuser —has reconnected with the ritual of the tea ceremony.
“The trend is very favorable for tea right now. Not only is tea the second largest beverage in the world after water, but preparing it is one of the most sophisticated daily rituals. Then we have the wellness factor, and tea’s benefits have been well documented,” said Cohen.
Tea Forte has introduced several travel retail exclusive gift sets, including the Passport Collection, teas in presentation boxes and gift tins, chocolate infused teas in heart-shaped boxes, a Lotus Collection of relaxing teas, and launching in February to coincide with New York’s Fashion Week, the Couture Collection, a limited edition assortment of bespoke, organic teas in the company’s signature hand-crafted infusers inspired by designer themes and colors.