Progressive Grocer - May 2010 - (Page 51)

Grocery up Sales This year’s upcoming World Tea Expo promises more information and interest than ever before — and retailer attendees especially stand to gain from the trend-forward event. By Bridget Goldschmidt A s the annual trade show for a booming industry expected to hit the $10 billion mark by the close of this year, according to research by the Sage Group International, World Tea Expo is always a stimulating experience, but 2010 could be the event’s biggest year ever. An agreement with Natural MarketPlace (NMP) means that the two shows will be co-located this year at the Las Vegas Convention Center from June 11 through June 13, and that registration to World Tea Expo also includes admission to NMP. Beyond even that, though, there’s more on tap at the premier gathering of retailers, tea room owners, food and beverage directors, spa managers, specialty grocers, mass merchandisers, and other business professionals involved with the tea category. “This year, World Tea Expo focused on what our attendees want most — quality exhibitors and education,” notes Kim Jage, EVP of the Las Vegas-based show. “As of March, the expo has 36 brand-new exhibitors out of 200plus. More than 50 percent of our exhibitors exhibit nowhere else in the United States; attending World Tea Expo is an exclusive opportunity to visit these suppliers. As for our educational conference, it and our speaker panel were intensely vetted during development.” Continues Jage: “World Tea Expo has a strict no-commercialization policy to ensure that our 55 sessions — all on specialty tea — are More ONLINE For additional information on World Tea Expo and other category news, visit truly educational in nature. Due to the high demand of hands-on workshops, we added more focused tastings, skill-building workshops and executive/technical content.” It’s all about providing what will best expand the category. “We drilled down on fulfilling the essential needs of World Tea Expo attendees and left out the frills,” she says. “These days, we all need solutions — not hype.” This is particularly true of food retailers, who “know specialty tea is a growing category,” observes Jage. “It is a healthy, inexpensive, feelgood beverage. Growth is cited in reports, such as one [from Chicago-based market research firm Mintel that] forecasts that the U.S. market will grow 28 percent in current prices and 18 percent in inflation-adjusted prices during 2008 to 2013. Food retailers can stay ahead of this curve and avoid offering too many tea products A H E A D O F W H AT ’ S N E X T with little differentiation, promoted by a sales team with limited product knowledge.” The challenge, as Jage sees it, is that “many food retailers just don’t know specialty tea. Meanwhile, like consumers of cheese, wine and chocolate, tea drinkers are becoming much more sophisticated and pride themselves on their fine taste and knowledge.” That’s why attendance at the event should be a must for any retailers with an interest in selling tea. “World Tea Expo is the specialty tea show,” explains Jage. “The industry is following the evolution already experienced in specialty coffee and natural products. World Tea Expo showcases the highest-quality tea that offers the same — if not better — margins as other types of tea and provides the most robust education on the category. Attending the expo gives retailers the opportunity to differentiate quality tea from others through a comprehensive knowledge of specialty tea. This leads to better buying decisions, a competitive edge and unique product lines of a growing category.” In fact, to prove her point, Jage cites attendee demographic statistics from 2009 showing that 85.5 percent of World Tea Expo attendees are retailers. As far as what’s up and coming in the category, Jage provides a few signposts. “Tea ware is a big trend at World Tea Expo this year,” she says. “Manufacturers are continuing to improve products that make steeping loose-leaf tea easy, especially tea ware focused on tea to go. Tea infusers today are smart, functional and environmentally friendly. “Another trend you’ll see at World Tea Expo this year is adding the origin of tea and year of harvest on packaging,” adds Jage. “Tea manufacturers recognize that tea is now more aligned with wine among sophisticated consumers, and they are packaging it with this expected information.” ■ Progressive Grocer • May 2010 • 51

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - May 2010

Progressive Grocer - May 2010
Nielsen’s Shelf Stoppers/ Spotlight: Candy/Non-ChocolateCandy
Super 50: Steadfast Leaders
The Lempert Report: ConAgra, Celebs Battle Child Hunger
Best Practices: Starting at the Top
Wake-up Call: Coupons Make a Comeback
Store of the Month: Roots and Wings
Harold Lloyd on … Making a Difference: Why Work as a Clerk?
Experience at Large: Put Your Best Customers to Work
Confection: Sweetening the Pot
Tea: Brewing up Sales
Non-alcoholic Beverages: Summer Quenchers
Summer Grilling Special: What a Gas!
Produce: Local and Lovin’ it
IDDBA Show Preview: Recipe for Success
Trends: The Summertime Freeze
Meats & Cheeses: Brown-bagging Sales
Food Industry Insights: Leadership for the Future
Tech Toolbox: A Look at the Latest Solutions
Out of the Box: The Latest Tools of the Trade
Roundtable: The Executioners
Foodservice: Green Machines
What’s Next: Editors’ Picks for Innovative Products

Progressive Grocer - May 2010