Industry Highlight: Tea Packaging

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The goal of our industry highlight articles is to provide actionable ideas with current trends that you can use to help your start up customers make packaging decisions.

This industry highlight blog post will focus on the tea industry which is now a $12.0 billion industry (2016) in the United States according to the Tea Association of the USA.

Tea is the world’s second most popular drink after water.  While there are a variety of teas, black remains the most popular with 60% of the global production, followed by green tea.  The growth rate for tea is fairly steady driven primarily by specialty or artisanal tea products.  As Sealer Sales is a One Stop Shop of Sealing Equipment & Supplies, we can help your customers with both the pouches and heat sealers for packaging tea.

Tea is a Growing Market in the US

The tea industry is now a $12.0 billion industry in the United States according to the Tea Association of the USA.  In 1990, the tea industry was $1.85 billion.  Primary factors driving growth per the Tea Association of the USA:

  • Health – According to FMI’s 2016 U.S. Grocery trends, shoppers are looking for healthier diets and understand the health benefits of tea over sugary drinks
  • Natural Foods – Younger consumers demand foods that are “less processed” and with no artificial ingredients. Tea is a simple natural food
  • Variety & Availability – Consumers are excited to try new and differentiated flavors. The growth of tea shops has encouraged consumers to try different tea varieties
  • Sustainability – Consumers are seeking foods that minimally impact the environment. Social and economic sustainability are being recognized as equally important

Whole leaf teas are increasing in popularity with consumers, especially millennials.  The demographic is open to experiencing and sampling innovative new flavors.  The Tea Association of the USA expects interest in whole leaf teas to grow.

Packaging Requirements for the Tea industry

We can offer both flexible packaging as well as heat sealing equipment for your tea customers.

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Tea requires protection against light and moisture. We would recommend our foil stand up pouches for loose leaf tea, particularly those with strong flavor or aroma. We also offer one-side clear and window pouches for your tea customers that would like to show the texture, shape or size of their loose leaf tea.

The density of the tea leaf differs from coffee which is why we offer a wide selection of sizes so you can find the perfect fit. Stand-up pouches comes standard with a tear notch for easy opening. Zip-lock feature is offered as an option on the 1oz and 2oz size and comes standard starting with the 4oz size and up. The convenient zip-lock feature will allow customers to re-close the bag after each use.

For companies just starting out, we suggest choosing a bag from our stock option program and placing a label on the bag.  We can recommend some great label companies with super low minimums. We can also work on quotes for custom bag specifications or suggest really great manufacturers to work with, but there will be minimum quantities (estimate approximately 20,000pcs to start).  If your customer does want to go the custom route, please have your customer fill out this survey.

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Once the pouch has been selected, the pouches must then be filled with your product and heat sealed to prevent the bags from being tampered with.  To seal your pouches, we offer a variety of heat sealing equipment that can meet your needs.  Whether you are just starting your production and looking for basic and affordable units or faster production volumes with the option to print a date code or expiration date on the seal line.

Our most basic and least expensive sealer is our hand sealer – if you are looking to do to seal about 15 packages per minute, we would suggest this option.  Our newest direct heat sealer, WNS-200D direct heat sealer, is also a good option for sealing pouches.  With its sleek and compact design, the WNS-200D is great for smaller work spaces.   Our WNS-200D is equipped with a digital timer which creates a consistent and reliable seal each time –  the sealing arm is easily activated and will not result in operator fatigue.  Otherwise, our band sealers will be our most efficient method for sealing plastic bags.

Band sealers operate via conveyor.  The operator would feed his or her bag into the machine and release.  The band sealer will then take the bag via conveyor through the sealing process.  Some of our band sealers are equipped with printers so you are able to print a lot code or expiration date on them. Operator would just have to feed the bag so the process is much less tiring than a hand sealer.  Here is a video demo of how our band sealer operates.

Do you have a tea product that needs assistance with packaging options?  If so please contact us and we would be glad to assist you.  If you already have your bags and need a heat sealer option, we can test your bags on our band sealers and send the samples back to you along with a video demo.  Just contact us!

Don’t forget to visit us at the Tea Expo next week!

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Come visit us at the World Tea Expo June 13-15, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Sealer Sales will be at Booth #737 to answer any questions about your packaging projects.

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