Kenya’s fast growing tea brand, Eden Tea, is marking 10 years in the market. Known for its rich aroma, Eden Tea was launched in the market in 2008, joining a vibrant local tea industry. It was among the first 100 tea packers registered by the Tea Board of Kenya (TBK), now the Tea Directorate.
Over the years, Eden Tea has had to strategically battle it out against brands that had existed for much longer, to eventually come second in the national market share.
This market leadership is attributed to the value that Eden Tea places on its customers. “Our local distributors and sales persons are committed to long term partnerships of mutual benefit with our customers,” says Humphrey Mwangi, the Sales and Marketing Manager of Karirana Estates Limited, the holding company. Karirana Estates is a legend in Kenya’s tea sector, having been in the industry since 1956. The company is owned by First Chartered Securities Ltd, which is 100 percent Kenyan. Eden Tea is grown, processed, pack aged and distributed locally by Kenyans for Kenyans.
After years of selling tea in bulk at the Mombasa auction, Karirana Estates launched the Eden Tea brand into the market in 2008, starting what has been an amazing Eden Tea’s success story. The move was informed by the need to add value and produce tea that was ready for sale to the final consumer, says Karirana Estates General Manager Mr. Joseph Ngige.
“It was the findings of an intense research that informed the value addition idea,” adds the Factory Manager, Mr. John Nguluu.
Eden Tea became a quick hit in the market, finding its own space among other teas in retail shops and stores. It raced up to position 15 in market competitiveness not long after its launch. Ten years on, Eden Tea occupies position two in market competitiveness, among more than 100 tea brands.
“As business grew, so did the Eden Tea processing factory in Limuru invest in modern adequate processing and packaging equipment to meet the emerging market needs,” says Mr. Nguluu.
In recent years, Eden Tea has developed new products in line with customer needs and preferences.
Last year, Karirana Estates Limited ventured into flavoured teas. The company launched tangawizi (ginger) flavoured tea (teabags and loose sachets) and Lemon flavoured tea (teabags). Karirana Estates Ltd also expanded its Eden Tea portfolio to include specialty tea by launching Purple Tea (teabags and loose sachets) and Green Tea (tea bags). Eden Tea continues to gain prominence in retail stores, offering consumers 32 different packages of great tasting tea products to choose from.
“These are products that speak to our consumers’ lifestyles, health consciousness and preferences. Aroma, colour and freshness is just what they had asked for,” says Mwangi. He adds that continuous market and product research continues to inform the innovations behind the Eden Tea brand.
Going forward, the brand will continue to position itself as a high quality but affordable and uniquely packed to give value for money. Consistency in quality will continue to propel consumer preference for the fresh taste and outward appeal of the brand. The wide variety of Eden Tea products ensures the consumer is spoilt for choice.