Marshall Kingston is Senior Brand Manager – Out Of Home for Tetley, responsible for foodservice sector marketing for one of Britain’s bestknown hot beverage brands. Marshall spoke to Wholesale Manager.
How long have you been in your present job?
I have been at Tetley since November 2016.
What were you doing before that?
I worked for a leading Irish tea and coffee company on NPD and brand activation. I then looked after foodservice brands at Kepak, including the rebrand of Big Al’s Foodservice.
What does your job involve?
My focus is to bring the Tetley brand to life in foodservice, creating customerfocused products and adding value to our offering. I work with our business development and field sales teams on new business and customer insights.
How would you sum up the Tetley brand’s history?
Tetley is entering its 181st year. Tea has been a symbol of British heritage since the business began, and remains the UK’s favourite hot beverage, with 3.1 billion tea occasions out of home1.
Tetley is brand leader in foodservice black tea, with 40% value share2. Tetley’s biggest sales regions are the Midlands and North. We command 50% of foodservice black tea in Scotland.
We are exploring how to diversify the Tetley range and enter different categories. Health will continue to be a big focus, to attract younger consumers and meet demand for ‘better for you’ products. By 2027, we predict our nonblack tea sales to overtake our traditional black tea sales.
How big is the Tetley brand in foodservice?
3.5 billion cups of Tetley are served out of home every year 3.
What are the biggest challenges in this sector?
Tea often gets overshadowed by coffee yet provides great opportunities. The profit margin is significantly better than any other hot beverage.
We have a number of educational resources such as the annual Tea Report, exploring the state of the market and predicted trends. To help operators deliver the best serve and drive tea sales, we developed Tea Masters, the UK’s first free online out of home tea training course.
We are also working on enticing younger consumers into the category and becoming Tetley brand advocates. The health and well-being trend is particularly prominent among millennials, who opt for healthier beverage options. Premiumisation is high on their agenda, with 65% willing to pay more for premium drinks 1.
What products do you offer in foodservice?
Tetley Catering Packs in decaf and original are great for serving bulk tea in the cost sector, such as care environments. The Tetley string and tag range, including black and speciality teas and fruit, herbal and green blends, is ideal for cafés, hotels and pubs. Tetley’s on the go solution is perfect for consumers on the move – simply add hot water to the on the go cup, supplied with an inbuilt Tetley easy squeeze tea bag.
What are your latest innovations to the foodservice range?
We are expanding our fruit and herbal range to help operators enter the health category with suitable Tetley products.
Any more NPD in the pipeline?
First launched in the travel sector, the Tetley Green Tea On The Go Cup will be available to wider foodservice channels, offering an on the go solution that reflects health trends.
What are your marketing plans for the brand this year?
We are concentrating on driving loyalty and increasing the Tetley brand’s credentials. We are aiming to boost brand visibility and desire in all business areas, including foodservice.
How are you helping your wholesale customers grow their business?
We are committed to leading the tea category’s evolution and have fantastic relationships with wholesale partners. Our key priority is to provide customers with added value. In December we won the FWD Gold Medal for Foodservice Brand 2017, honouring our collaboration with wholesalers.
How can wholesalers maximise sales from your brand?
The foodservice category is underdeveloped, lacking insight and data. We provide this missing information via easy to access materials to help wholesalers boost sales. We work with wholesale partners to drive visibility with merchandising support and activity in depots.
Where do you see the brand in five years’ time?
We hope to see a shift from black to nonblack tea out of home and extend the brand into new areas, by bringing retail ranging solutions into foodservice. We will also focus on attracting younger consumers and developing new products to satisfy their desire for new experiences. Watch this space!
1 Tetley Tea Report 2018
2 Salesout Total Tea Aggregated data 52we 8th July 2018
3 Tetley Sales Accumulated date 2017