Piyo More Chai
That’s the slogan of the Indian Tea Association’s (ITA) drive to increase tea consumption in India. Translated, it means “Drink More Tea”. The campaign focuses on the health benefits of tea, something the ITA claims that most Indian consumers lack awareness of.
Now, you may be wondering why India needs to increase tea consumption. After all, India exports tea to much of the world, so it must be drinking a lot of the stuff, right?
Though tea consumption in India may have grown in absolute terms (the population is growing by leaps and bounds after all), the rate of growth has declined substantially. Perhaps its because tea is not the beverage of choice among the nation’s youth. Coffee and all the “hip” attitude it brings with it, seems to have taken over the younger generation’s imagination. You can witness that trend every day at places like Barista, Cafe Coffee Day and Coffee Pai, mushrooming all over Indian cities and towns. Starbucks is currently vying for entry into this lucrative market.
Or perhaps its because of the tremendous over-supply of tea.
So when the Indian Tea Association embarked on this campaign to promote tea consumption domestically, it was a sign that India’s tea industry was in some trouble.
According to Harish Bajoor, a branding specialist in India:
“Generic category promotion is actually the last resort of a category under stress in its consumption growth. A category that needs to resort to it is one that has key issues nibbling at its equity base of consumer acceptance.”
So was it a success? The ITA claims that 70% of viewers liked the commercials. But did that translate to the bottom line? Well, it turns out that its going to be really tough to measure. Like much of India’s retail sector, the supply chain for tea is rather disorganized, making monitoring doubly difficult. According to one estimate by Tata Tea, Indians consumed about 670 grams of tea a year in 1996-97 and now consume about 733 grams. That’s really not much to write home about.
Are Indians going to Piyo More Chai in the future? The ITA sure hopes so.
Filed under: chai, consumption, exports, india, industry, marketing | 1 Comment