Monday, April 22, 2013

Hot and cold teas hold 'really unlimited opportunities' for both industry and consumers, according to Unilever

Hot and cold teas hold 'really unlimited opportunities' for both industry and consumers, according to Unilever
Hot and cold teas hold 'really unlimited opportunities' for both industry and consumers, according to Unilever
Unilever has described tea as the ‘hottest beverage’ in the global drinks landscape, and one with unlimited opportunities as a natural product with scientifically proven health and wellness benefits.
Executive VP of global beverages at Lipton tea brandowner Unilever (beverages account for around 12% of the firm’s business; €6-7bn in terms of turnover) Winfried Hopf, was speaking at the 2013 Innobev Global Beverages Congress in Warsaw, organized by Zenith International.

“For me and Unilever, it’s the hottest beverage in the beverage landscape”, Hopf told delegates, and one that increasingly appealed young consumers, particularly in cold RTD form, and due to social media support from celebrities such as Rhianna, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga on platforms such as Twitter.

“It’s a category with power, because it serves half of our population. And it’s a category with scale, with one trillion cups of tea served every year,” Hopf said.

Unlimited opportunities for industry and consumers
Tea held “really unlimited opportunities” for both industry, Hopf said (Unilver estimates that the category is worth €145-150bn worldwide) and consumers, with the latter searching for real goodness inside brands and products.

“Tea is the category and the product that delivers against those requirements, because it’s not just a delicious drink, it’s more. Firstly, it’s natural, healthy, revitalizing,” Hopf said.
“It gives focus for your brain and wellness for your body. It’s full of goodness and it stimulates body and mind in the most positive way.”

Discussing tea’s health and wellness benefits, Hopf added: “Additionally, it is a quite affordable treatment, in a world of increasing health concerns and restrictions, and we expect it to accelerate, with such functional benefits and growth as a category, even more so versus today.
And tea’s health benefits were not simply a marketing story, Hopf said, since there was scientific proof, for instance, that its antioxidants and flavonoids helped CVD and cancer and slowed the ageing process.

Taking tea upmarket
Tea’s category sales spanned both hot and cold servings, Hopf said, noting that tea was one of the few drinks to do so successfully, with sales split almost equally between the two segments.
“While hot tea is the category creator – building credibility, trust, talking to a much more adult consumer, cold tea brings a huge amount of dynamism to this market, and opens up a new consumption occasion, and access to a much younger consumer,” he said.

Unilever’s fascination with tea stemmed from its scale, growth and the fact that – despite accounting for 29% of global beverage volumes, the category only commanded around 13% of value. “That is the point that makes us at Unilever so excited, because there is a real opportunity to uptrade this category,” Hopf said.

He added that premium growth opportunities lay in tea machine capsules (where firms like Nestle sell its Special-T system capsules at a x6 premium to normal teabags), and in out-of-home, since 82% of tea consumed is now sold via grocery channels.

Nestle’s best-selling tea machine SKU was blueberry muffin, Hopf said, a flavor that has little to do with tea, while bubble tea’s success also took tea in a “sweet treat and indulgence” direction.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Is Your Cinnamon the “True” Cinnamon? Isn’t Cinnamon…Cinnamon?

Is your cinnamon the “true” cinnamon? Isn’t cinnamon…cinnamon? What most Americans know as cinnamon is not “true” cinnamon, but “cassia” cinnamon. Cinnamon which comes from the bark of cinnamon trees is sold as cinnamon sticks or powder with the country of origin rarely declared on the package label. There are two main types: Ceylon Cinnamon (also known as “true” cinnamon) and cassia. Ceylon Cinnamon grows in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), the Seychelles and Madagascar. However, only Sri Lanka produces enough of this prized Ceylon Cinnamon for commercial purposes. The other is called cassia or bastered cinnamon. Cassia generally comes from China or Vietnam. American traders turned to importing the cheaper and lesser quality cassia in the early 20th century following a rise in prices of Ceylon Cinnamon, or true cinnamon. However after switching to cassia, traders never changed the name to cassia but continued to refer to it as cinnamon (implying it is Ceylon Cinnamon). Today, there are many reasons why Ceylon Cinnamon, or true cinnamon, should be reintroduced to America and to the rest of the world. Ceylon Cinnamon is very fragrant and more complex with interwoven hints of delicate citrus flavor.

Origin of Cinnamon

It is a fact that cinnamon is only native to the island of Sri Lanka. Cinnamomum Zeylanicum or true cinnamon is only found and grown commercially in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Hence “Zeylanicum” derived from the island’s historic name of Zeylan given by the Europeans prior to Ceylon and later, Sri Lanka. As early as 2000 BC, Ceylon Cinnamon was considered a prized commodity by the Egyptians. In order to disguise its true origin, Egyptians claimed the origin of cinnamon as China; hence the start of the confusion between Ceylon Cinnamon and Chinese cassia (Cinnamomum Aromaticum).

Difference Between Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia

Cassia is also from the family of Cinnamomum and it is cultivated commercially in China and Vietnam. Cassia is often confused with cinnamon. Ceylon Cinnamon uses the inner bark that is more crumbly in texture, lighter in color, considered to be more aromatic and complex in flavor than cassia. In addition, recent scientific research published by the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests Ceylon Cinnamon powder and sticks are better since it contains 63 times less and 18 times lesscoumarin respectively, compared to cassia (Source: Quantification of Flavoring Constituents in Cinnamon: High Variation of Coumarin in Cassia Bark from the German Retail Market and in Authentic Samples from Indonesia by Friederike Woehrlin*†, Hildburg Fry†, Klaus Abraham†, and Angelika Preiss-Weigert†: † Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Thielallee 88-92, 14195 Berlin, Germany J. Agric. Food Chem., 2010, 58 (19), pp 10568–10575, DOI: 10.1021/jf102112p, Publication Date (Web): September 20, 2010, American Chemical Society.

History of Ceylon Cinnamon

The Egyptians imported Ceylon Cinnamon as far as 2000 BC. Ceylon Cinnamon was so highly prized that ancient civilizations offered it to the gods; inscriptions record gifts of cinnamon to Apollo at Miletus. Once upon a time, cinnamon was more valuable than gold. The Hebrew Bible mentions cinnamon many times included Moses’ command to use sweet cinnamon in the holy anointing oil. Cinnamon was also an ingredient used in the Ketoret (an important Temple service in Jerusalem) and referred to as consecrated incense described in the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud. At the incense altars of the First and Second Jerusalem Temples, cinnamon was used as incense. The origin of cinnamon was such a well-kept secret that Heredotus and other authors claimed that Arabia was the source of cinnamon by creating stories about cinnamon birds collecting cinnamon sticks. The first mention of Ceylon Cinnamon was in 1270 in Zakariya al-Qazwini’s Monument of Places and History of God’s Bondsmen. In the 16th Century, Portuguese traders landed in Ceylon and restructured and managed the island’s cinnamon industry.

Potential Health Benefits of Cinnamon

The potential health benefits of cinnamon are nothing short of astonishing. There has been a lot of buzz these days about cinnamon. Cinnamon has been a remedy in the practice of traditional Ayurveda medicine for thousands of years to treat ailments such as diabetes, colds and indigestion. It is also believed to improve vitality and circulation. Recent studies have suggested the following health benefits of this beloved spice, cinnamon (Note, this statement is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Regal Ceylon Tea or any of its affiliates):

  • Cinnamon may help stabilize blood sugar, which is good for weight loss. A daily sprinkle of cinnamon in your tea or cereal is all it takes
  • Simply smelling the aroma of cinnamon may boost ones cognitive function and memory
  • Half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon per day may lower your bad cholesterol or LDL
  • Cinnamon may help treat type 2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and increasing the production of insulin in the body
  • Cinnamon has been known as an effective natural remedy for eliminating headaches and migraine relief
  • Cinnamon combined with honey has been known to relieve arthritis pain
  • When cinnamon is added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage thus serving as a natural preservative

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Regal Ceylon Tea Announces Company Launch

Washington, DC (PRWEB) September 05, 2012

“It is a great honor that our Single Estate Ceylon Tea from Dimbula won a North American Tea Championship award in the Ceylon Tea category,” said Dular Niyangoda, CEO of Regal Ceylon Tea, “especially on the eve of our company’s launch.”

The North American Tea Championship, the only professionally judged tea competition by professional cuppers to distinguish the highest quality and best tasting tea commercially available in the North American marketplace. The event took place in Las Vegas, July 31 - August 1, where tea varieties were judged based on dried leaf, brewed color, aroma, flavor, mouth-feel, and harmony.

The significance in winning this award is that Single Estate Ceylon Tea from Dimbula is the only certified organic tea to win an award in the signature Ceylon Tea category of this competition. This is great news to all the organic tea lovers and the Ceylon Tea brand. Not only is this tea organic, it is a delicious and an aromatic whole leaf black tea that is unique only to the Dimbula region. Regal Ceylon Tea is committed to bringing consumers great tasting tea.

“At Regal Ceylon Tea, we have partnered with our growers to produce the best tasting organic tea. We are proud to introduce our inaugural line of organic Single Estate Ceylon Tea, including our award winning Single Estate Ceylon Tea from Dimbula, American Breakfast Tea and our exclusive organic Ceylon Cinnamon,” said Niyangoda. Based out of the historic Eastern Market of the Capitol Hill borough of Washington, D.C., Regal Ceylon Tea is a retailer and wholesaler of high quality tea products.

Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is one of the leading suppliers of tea. The world’s love affair with Ceylon Tea started with British colonist, James Taylor. Taylor planted the first tea in a 19-acre tea plantation in Loolecondera Estate, which was known as the Kandyan Kingdom in the central hills of ancient Ceylon. In 1873, the first shipment of Ceylon Tea arrived in London. It didn’t take long for Ceylon to gain its reputation as the finest producer of tea.

“Fine tea is like good wine and tea is equally temperamental. Seasonal rainfall, environmental conditions and tea growing altitudes greatly affect the taste, aroma and color of tea,” says Niyangoda. “Our handpicked tea is from the central hill regions of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) famously known for its micro-climatic conditions, pristine environment and rich soil.”

Featured Regal Ceylon Tea selections include:

-Single Estate Black Ceylon Tea – Dimbula certified organic whole leaf loose tea in a tin

-Single Estate Black Ceylon Tea – Dimbula certified organic tea bags in a box

-Single Estate Black Ceylon Tea – Nuwara Eliya certified organic whole leaf loose tea in a box

-Single Estate Black Ceylon Tea – Nuwara Eliya certified organic whole leaf tea bags in a box

-American Breakfast Tea – Regal Ceylon Tea’s special blend of high quality certified organic whole leaf loose tea in a tin from the central hills of Ceylon

-Ceylon Cinnamon (Organic) – Consume as a hot or cold delicious and refreshing beverage

Regal Ceylon Tea is currently working closely with retailers and wholesalers to promote organic Single Estate Ceylon Tea, American Breakfast Tea, Ceylon Cinnamon and other products such as various grades of loose leaf Ceylon Tea in small to large quantities.

About Regal Ceylon Tea

D&J Ventures, LLC of Washington, DC is the parent company of Regal Ceylon Tea. The company specializes in servicing retail and wholesale customers with tea products. For more information visit