Tata Tea into F&B retailing

Gaurav Choudhury, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, January 23, 2008

Tata Tea, part of the multi-billion dollar Tata Group, has announced plans to enter into the food-and-beverage (F&B) retailing segment and opened its first outlet in the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) campus in Bangalore on Tuesday.

The outlet is the first in a chain of such retail stores that the company plans to roll out across major cities in the country under the brand name Chai Unchai.

“The outlet offers both tea and non tea beverages with a range of snack offerings especially designed for it Our research showed that this segment has a huge opportunity as consumers are looking at different options for a satisfying out-of-home beverage experience,” Sangeeta Talwar, executive director, Tata Tea, said.

The chain of outlets will directly compete with retail coffee chains such as Café Coffee Day and Barista, which was once owned by the group.

The organised coffee retail segment presently stands at about Rs 500-odd crore. The size of the overall non-alcoholic, non-carbonated be- verages market is pegged at around Rs 10,000 crore, industry analyts said.

Tata Tea acquired the Tetley Group in 2000, and followed it up with Good Earth in US, Jemca in Czech, Eight O’ Clock Coffee in US and recently, of Polish trademarks Vitax and Flosana.

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