What the 800-Pound Gorilla Has to Say About Tea

If you’re of a certain age, you might recall popular commercials for a certain stockbroker (if not, you can always turn to YouTube). After the mere mention of their name reliably caused an entire room to go silent, the proceedings closed with the catchphrase, “when E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.”

Which is a roundabout way of saying that if you’re the big kahuna in your particular industry, then, just like with an 800-pound gorilla, people are probably more likely to pay attention to you. Recently one of the honchos at a certain ubiquitous mega-corporation made a few comments on his company’s impending move into tea. While said company is much better known for their coffee and their existing tea offerings have often lurked in the shadows, that all is apparently going to change.

What does all this have do with the price of tea in China, to quote the old phrase? Well, in addition to the fact that it may actually affect the price of tea produced in China, in a very real way, it’s also likely to have a significant impact on the tea industry as a whole. Let’s not forget that once upon a time, back before said firm became a coffee selling powerhouse, coffee was just coffee and there really wasn’t much to get excited about – and we all know how that’s changed.

Now, with their recent purchase of one of the U.S. tea industry’s biggest players (and let’s not forget that existing tea line) you-know-who is turning their attentions to the beverage that even they point out, is said to be the second most consumed beverage in the world, after water.

For more on the topic, check out this recent article/video from a popular investing site. Though you’ll have to hack your way through a thicket of financial buzzwords (“leverage the premium nature of” and so on). If you’d rather not, the gist of the thing is that though “tea” was originally part of the gorilla’s name, they have not made it enough of a focal point, they intend to keep alive the chain of stores they recently purchased with the potential for hundreds more locations on the horizon, and they will also increase their focus on tea selling in their existing locations.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

One thought on “What the 800-Pound Gorilla Has to Say About Tea

  1. Said mega-corporation has such a strong presence that if you have ever been to the UK, you might have noticed that they occupy (almost literally) every train station and street corner. Yet in spite of it all, or because of it as you seem to suggest, independent coffee and tea sellers have a stronghold of their own. In the end, it will perhaps always be a matter of taste and choice. Not everyone wants the big corporation’s brew, but everyone finds a favorite tea or coffee and holds on.

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