Tea being the most consumed beverage after water, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, has a very progressive market in India and across the globe. In the past, tea consumption was majorly limited to the household drink and restricted mostly to street vendors with few outlets serving quality tea.
However, with the upcoming tea startups, we see a major shift. From street stalls to fancy Tea Cafes, the industry is transforming for millennial and Gen Z.
When we look at India, it is the second largest producer of tea after China where the international market demand for Assam tea and Darjeeling tea is increasing exponentially.
Tea Startups in India
Looking into the blooming market of tea and understanding that ‘The Chai’ has got no replacement, many aspiring entrepreneurs bagged the opportunity to start a business under this sector.
One of the first tea startups in India, Chai Point, a Bengaluru-based startup came into being in 2010. With over 100 plus offline stores, the startup majorly targets the office goers and working professionals.
It became popular with its service of delivering hot tea within 30 minutes through its online platform.
One of the quickly blooming tea startups in the country, Chaayos is a Delhi-based startup. It was founded in 2012 by the IIT alumni Nitin Saluja and Raghav Verma.
As their tag line mentions “experimenting with Chai”, they provide their customers with more than 25 varieties of tea with 12 add-ons, giving its customers 12000 ways of making their own tea. Through its online platform it engages with more customers.
Given the current health crisis, tea serves as the healthiest beverage in the market.
A Kolkata-based startup, established in 2015, it is India’s finest artisanal tea blenders with 60 plus tea varieties. It is an extension of Kurseong valley of Darjeeling region. What makes this startup interesting is its theme of ‘Voyages in a teacup’- teas inspired by travel destinations across the globe.
Their USP is their wellness tea, not indulging in the artificial flavouring and colouring, and providing premium tea. Their pyramidal teabags are very famous among their customers as it allows space for the tea brew to infuse properly.
Based out in Siliguri, the startup was founded in 2012 and has
expanded to 40 countries. It offers premium teas, teaware, customized gifting solutions and B2B tea consultancy.
The startup aims to change the perception of tea consumption by providing some premium varieties of tea. With its web store, the startup is delivering unique concoctions of teas along with some rare varieties to the customer’s doorstep.
This Manipur-based startup specializes in wild tea straight from the mountainous forests of Manipur. The tea is sourced from the nearby forests and not from any tea plantation.
This small startup aims to commercialize the native tea in order to uplift the local economy. The specialty of these tea leaves is that it can live for hundreds of years unlike the usual plantations.
The startup is engaged with B2B businesses with tea sellers from the US, Canada and a few European Countries. It caters through online mode via Amazon and its own website as offline business is too expensive for them as of now.
Why Tea Startup is Evolving Now
Because of the lockdown and weather conditions recently the tea industry has faced declination. However, the industry crawled back up again as tea is proven to be the healthiest beverage. Because of its antiviral properties, calming properties and other health benefits, the beverage industry managed to survive through the pandemic.
The Gen Z and Millennial have started investing in a healthy lifestyle which has increased the demands of green tea, black tea, chamomile tea, etc. This has resulted in a hike in the domestic demand and in startups like Teabox and Teaorb.
Learning and Insights For Tea Startups
Given the current health crisis, tea serves as the healthiest beverage in the market. Looking at the consumption level and never ending love for ‘Chai’, many startups are leveraging the opportunity.
Selling tea online and educating people about India’s indigenous tea sector is a good marketing strategy for upcoming startups.