Society Tea says tea market well established to champion #VocalForLocal

A brand needs to understand the changing preferences of the consumer.

MUMBAI: One thread that binds Indians as a nation, despite the diversity in cultures and languages, is the love for tea. The way tea is consumed here changes every 100 km. It has been an irreplaceable part of every Indian, making it the most loved beverage across the subcontinent.

The new hashtag #VocalForLocal has been in the Indian market ever since PM Modi gave a clarion call to the nation to support Indianised products. Society Tea director Karan Shah is of the opinion that Indian brands have a good hold over the tea market with each region dominated by a different player who understands its consumer well. While adapting to these variations, Indian brands have stepped forward and innovated as per the demands of the consumer.

Shah says, “Indian consumers are very particular about the kind of tea they consume and how they consume it. It varies from state to state and region to region, with some people liking their tea with only a splash of milk to your kadak masala chai to lightly brewed white tea.”

As per a report by Statista, India produced around 13,44,000 tons of tea in 2018. India is the second-largest producer of tea in the Asia Pacific region and the largest consumer of the beverage. Indian tea is amongst the finest in the world due to the heavy investments and innovations in the processing units and the care taken during harvest and processing owing to the importance the citizens give to chai in their everyday life.

Given this backdrop, Shah thinks a brand needs to understand the changing preferences of the consumer and the tea-drinking patterns across the Indian subcontinent such as the recent affinity  for herbal and green tea by health- and fitness-oriented people.

"Vocal for Local" has been quite a point of discussion in the market after Prime Minister Modi's address and has been constantly covering the many aspects surrounding it. 

In an earlier interaction, Havas Group India CEO Rana Barua had mentioned, "‘Vocal for Local’ is an extremely encouraging direction and philosophy for marketers." 

Havas Group India CEO Rana Barua says that ‘Vocal for Local’ is an extremely encouraging direction and philosophy for marketers.

He further added, “Brands and businesses have a huge and potentially vital role to play. But they must do so with authenticity because it is the right thing to do, not for themselves, not even just for their customers, but for society as a whole. In line with this, getting back to relevance and creating a compelling, engaging story to fit in the consumer’s life is integral. Be meaningful for the consumer so that they clearly understand the void and reach out to buy the brand.”

Society Tea introduced a range of new green teas such as the Cleanse Green Tea Detox Kahwa Premix, while in the segment of iced teas, the company has introduced four interesting flavours.

“Vocal for Local would be a fair idea in its broader interpretation of increasing local industry (not just consumption). But this will only work after the sentiment solution has been found and deployed widely and sticking to a narrow definition of local in any way would be 'harmful jingoism' at work,” adds Dentsu One president Harjot Singh Narang.

Keeping in mind the current pandemic wreaking havoc globally, Society Tea has launched the #StayAtHome campaign, to encourage safety, remembering the beautiful memories that have been collectively spent as a community around tea.

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