The tea industry, in a bid to eventually reach out to the domestic end-consumer, is planning to hold a road show that would enable it to establish direct contact with traders and retailers. The outreach programme, called India Tea Road Show, would be held in two phases across key markets. The move coincides with a repositioning of tea — from a commodity sold in bulk, mainly through auctions to a FMCG sold in packets with a distinct brand identity.

The platform is being hosted by the Indian Tea Association (ITA), the apex body for the north Indian tea industry. In the first phase, from February 14 to 17, the show would go to Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Jaipur. In the second phase, from February 28 to March 1, Amritsar, Delhi and Kanpur would be covered.

The India Tea Road Show would provide an opportunity to build and intensify contacts with regional packeter/blenders in select focus markets. The ITA, in conjunction with the local trade bodies, has provided for an interactive session in each market. In addition, there will be a tea tasting session showcasing the leading brands of that region for participants to further understand the requirements of the local trade.

Around 30 participants from leading tea producers and broking firms from North and South India will interact with 100 leading packers and retailers in each place over seven days.

The move comes at a time when sliding exports (down by 6.2 per cent between January and November 2011) is creating pressure to sell increased quantity in the domestic market. At 750 kg, per capita consumption of tea is low in India, and domestic sales is boosted mainly by a rising population, not by any growth in per capita consumption.

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