Tea trailblazers: UK’s vitamin tea brand backed by Dragons' Den to expand in Middle East

By Guan Yu Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tea Plus is releasing four products in UAE, namely Energy, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Cleanse teas ©TeaPlus
Tea Plus is releasing four products in UAE, namely Energy, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Cleanse teas ©TeaPlus

Related tags: Vitamin, Uk, Middle east, Tea, COVID-19

UK-based Tea Plus, which secured investment on the TV series Dragons’ Den back in 2018, is expanding into the Middle East.

The company is launching four of its products into the UAE, namely Energy, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Cleanse.

The products will be available in chain pharmacies (Life Pharmacy), independent pharmacies, and eventually in supermarkets such as Waitrose and Spinneys.

The founder of Tea Plus, James Dawson told NutraIngredients-Asia​ that the company plans to get its products onto shelves by July or August this year, although acknowledging that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak may slow things down slightly.

Health and convenience combination

Dawson said tea and coffee are huge markets in the Middle East region as a whole, and has seen early demand for its products, likely due to increasing health awareness.

Health awareness is becoming more prevalent in the Middle East where obesity and diabetes rates have risen consistently over the last decade. There has been more health initiatives, which led to more health awareness within this region​,” he said.

He said that tea was a familiar and convenient format for all consumers, and the company was giving consumers to option to meet their vitamin requirements in an alternative format, “If people don’t want to swallow a pill, they can drink our tea to get the same nutrients​.”

Target audience

The majority of its existing consumers-base is females, aged between 25 to 45.

Dawson told us: "We want to target people with busy lifestyles, where they don’t have time to eat as well as they should be, and they understand the need to take care of their health​.”

We give consumers an option for something more nutritious, as part of their daily routine.”

He said the Energy tea contains 100% RDA/NRV in all eight essential B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12) to help reduce tiredness and fatigue.

Its Vitamin C (80mg) and D (5μg) teas contain 100% RDA/NRV of the vitamin, and its Cleanse tea contains selenium for hair and nail health.

Dawson added while it used the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)/Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) in the UK, different countries have different recommendations and representation of vitamin labels. “However, in the Middle East, the NRV levels are accepted​.”

The teas are manufactured in the UK, using a mix of herbal tea, green tea, vitamins, and fruits.

As of now, the products are not halal certified, but Dawson said the process was underway.

The teas will retail for AED29 (USD 7.90).

In the UK, the company’s tea products are available in supermarkets, pharmacies and health stores. The products can be purchased online for international customers too.

Besides a presence in the UK, and Middle East, the company recently launched in Asia-Pacific including Singapore and New Zealand.

In 2018, Tea Plus secured a funding of £75,000 (USD93,000) from Tej Lalvani, owner of British nutraceutical company, Vitabiotics, in return for 50% of the business.

Vitamin C and COVID-19

The company has seen a surge in sales of its Vitamin C tea over the last three weeks, since the COVID-19 outbreak occurred.

Dawson said people were paying more attention to their health, and which foods can enhance their immune system.

He stressed that their Vitamin C tea is not a treatment for the coronavirus, “We don’t make any claims with regards to the coronavirus, but we make claims to the immune system.​”

Every year, we see our Vitamin C tea product is also very popular around winter season, which is prime flu season​.”

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