Manufacturer Unilever has opened its first tea bar T2 in London, after it had purchased the Australian T2 in 2013. It will now expand the brand to Europe.
Large market for tea
Unilever wants to use the T2 store in London to get Brits to drink more tea again. Ever since Starbucks entered the United Kingdom, tea has lost a lot of ground to coffee. Unilever is already the world's largest tea seller, through its Lipton brand, but with T2 it hopes to attract customers who equally have no issue with paying more for coffee.
The market for luxury tea should annually grow 12 to 14 % according to Unilever. "We are seeing more and more interest in more exciting teas. This provides growth for Unilever in the most exciting growth segment of the tea market", Kevin Havelock (president of Unilever's refreshment business) told Reuters.
T2 was founded in Melbourne in 1996 and had 40 Australian stores, with a turnover of 57 million Australian dollars (40 million euro) when Unilever bought it last year. Unilever hopes to open a few more T2 stores in Great Britain, on the back of the London opening. After that, other countries could also be targeted. "We actually don't believe that there are any highly developed cities in the world that would not be a good environment for T2."