Tiesta Tea, primarily known for its loose leaf tea products is launching its first ready-to-drink (RTD) offering this week with a line of cold brew tea.
The five-SKU line, available nationwide exclusively at Target stores, adapts the brand’s existing loose leaf offerings into RTD, with an emphasis on functional benefits. The flavors include “Energizer” Black Thai Tropical with Guava, “Slenderizer” Lean Green Machine with Agave, “Eternity” Blueberry Wild Child with Lemonade, “Immunity” Maui Mango with Passion Fruit, and “Relaxer” Lavender Chamomile with Vanilla.
According to senior PR lead Rachel Heinzinger, the Illinois-based company, founded in 2010 in Illinois, recognized the early success of cold brew coffee and saw similar potential in the tea market. Other tea makers, such as Argo Tea, Ito En, and Evy Tea, have also launched cold brew tea lines in recent months.
The extension comes at a time when the company’s loose leaf business is growing, Heinzinger said. She added that, with the closure of Starbucks Coffee-owned tea brand Teavana retail stores last year, Tiesta is seizing on an opening to service consumers seeking quality loose leaf tea by increasing its presence in the grocery channel via the bulk food section, having recently added CostCo and other retailers.
“We’re still going to really focus on building our bulk tea section because that alone has huge potential,” Heinzinger said. “[With the RTD line] we’re attracting two different kinds of customers. Because you have the people who are on-the-go and don’t really have time to steep their own tea or make their own cold brew.”
Tiesta Tea’s loose leaf products have previously been available in select Target stores, but the 16 oz. RTD products will represent a chainwide release. The line will retail for $2.99 per bottle and will be a Target exclusive until the end of June.
“With how well Target does in their ready-to-drink section, that was the attraction,” Heinzinger said. “Target was the most helpful when it came to partnering with us.”
In addition to increasing its retail footprint, Tiesta Tea is focused on building its ecommerce business. The company recently updated its website to be more user-friendly for direct-to-consumer sales, and is also available on Amazon and Jet.com. According to Heinzinger, the company is excited about Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods and its potential to reimagine the grocery experience.
“We’re doing a lot of market research with how grocery stores will change, and I think as we grow we’re going to have to tailor some things to make sure we’re still meeting the needs of our average customer and getting our brand name out there to people who haven’t heard of us yet,” she said. “It gives us a lot of opportunity to attract new customers.”