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Tea Talk

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Date Published:2/3/2009 03:02:58 PM

RTD teas come in all shapes and sizes that are meant to convey the product's quality

RTD teas come in all shapes and sizes that are meant to convey the product's quality

READY-to-drink teas are overtaking demand for carbonated soft drinks in many markets, and the stiff competition is giving rise to creative packaging. This is evident in terms of design and graphics as well as in the types of packaging utilized. RTD teas are most commonly sold in aseptic cartons and in PET, and brand differentiation is achieved not only by formulation enhancement but also by package design. For premium RTD teas, there is a wider range of package formats, including glass and cans.

Award-Winning Design

Premium and high quality are tea drinks require distinctive packages that impart their message of exclusivity. In October 2007, Japanese beverage giant Suntory Ltd. marketed a limited number of bottles of high-quality oolong tea. This series of premium oolong leaf tea and ready-to-drink oolong tea was brewed with 100% Da Hong Pao, an extra select leaf tea from China. The limited edition tea was bottled in glass bottles from Toyo Glass Co., Ltd., Tokyo that feature interesting details at the neck. The label, as well as the box in which the bottle was sold, illustrated the tradition of cultivation of tea leaves, and "express the depth and authenticity of Oolong-cha, and convey its value as a luxury," according to Suntory. This effort was recognized with a Bronze for Beverages, Tea & Coffee RTD category, at the Pentawards 2008 in Monaco. It was also a finalist at the London International Award 2008 in the Non-Alcoholic Package Design category.

Artistic Can

One example of a premium tea in a can is Orient Emporium Tea Co. brand from RC Cola International for its Eastern European consumers. In communicating the health benefits of the brand's two introductory flavors ?an antioxidant-rich green tea and pomegranate, and a refreshing black tea and peach ?it was crucial that form follow function. Thus 25-cl slim cans feature intricate Asiatic designs are brought vividly to life with high quality print technology from Crown Bevcan Europe and Middle East. "Innovative package design is a major brand positioning tool," says Moshy Cohen, vice president for business development in Eastern Europe for RC Cola International. "Slim cans communicate trendy, modernity, and New Age ?all of which fit the bill for Orient Emporium teas." Advanced can printing technologies were required to reproduce the elegant, fine designs of the Orient Emporium Tea brand. The vibrant emerald and topaz jewel-toned cans are illustrated with natural elements as diverse as dragons, dragonflies, bamboo shoots, and chrysanthemums. Crown's printing and design specialists played a particularly important role in ensuring the final package met RC Cola International's high standards. "High quality print makes use of special, high-resolution printing plates, which allow for improved dot separation, leading to superior print reproduction of complex images on cans," according to Caroline Archer-Reed, marketing director of Crown's beverage business in Europe. "Our new process is ideal for the large-scale rendering of Orient Emporium Tea's traditional woodcut-inspired graphics."

Tea Bag Alternative

For tea drinkers who prefer hot tea, greater convenience can be had with the "tpod in Pull Pack" developed by Bosch's Sigpack Systems based on the Bistrozucker (Stick Pack) packaging style which replaces the traditional tea bag with a modern lifestyle product for ease-of-use for the consumer. In partnership with Alcan Packaging, Bistozucker and Mendel, Sigpack Systems combined the Pull Pack with the Stick Pack. The Stick Pack or tpod offers a user-friendly aNIKE AIR MAX

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