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Chile: The New Tea Bastion for India?

India has been the second largest tea producer of world, in a very strange state of affair it exports only a sixth part of its production.

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In a new and aggressive marketing mode, the tea board of India is planning to penetrate in Chile and re-explore US tea markets. While India has been the second largest tea producer of world, in a very strange state of affair it exports only a sixth part of its production, said tea board chairman, Prabhat Bezboruah. India will test its new marketing plan in Chile from today (29 June) to 1 July.

Tea Exports in India

Indian tea industry have witnessed a good yield last year.

The decision of expansion rests with the high production as well as willingness to enter new markets.

Major regions where India has exported majority of tea in Year 2015-16 were

India’s strength is the variety of tea produced here. Most of the tea importer nations are witnessing higher demands in premium tea segment that makes it a good time for expansion in tea market. Being highest tea producer in the world, it’s only ‘China’ which appears to give us a cut throat competition among major tea exporter nations. Countries like Kenya and Sri Lanka claimed second and third position respectively, with lesser production than India.

The Chile Tea Market

With many European migrated to Chile in 18th Century, the tea became a part of cultural in this nation. As the arable land in Chile is less than 3 per cent of its overall land mass (World Bank report), Chile had to bank on foreign nations for its basic agriculture requirements. Tea is no exception. With average expenses of more than 18 US$ on tea per person, we are eyeing for 20 per cent market share in Chile, said Prabhat Bezboruah.

“Chile is some 10 million kg tea market and we are standing at nil”, said Prabhat. This makes Chile a nation with huge potential. Mutable consumer demands, especially for premium tea, makes it a more favourable tea export environment for India.

A Hong Kong Tourist Development Corporation (HKTDC) report said that China may leverage the free trade agreement signed with Chile, but Prabhat Bezboruah has confidence in the quality of Indian tea, he said China is no competition for us, we will count on quality.

Current Brands in Chile

Native brand Camiaso enjoys 46 per cent market share and Unilever Chile standing on second with 33 per cent share and their flagship brand Lipton, which makes it easier to identify competition in Chile said Prabhat.

As awareness among consumers is rising, Chile is all set to witness the shift of consumers to Premium products. Experts speak for convenience as the key factor for success in a market like Chile.

Prabhat said, tea board is well organised and its governments choice to decide. It is one of the steps to put the industry on speedier track.

Re-exploring United States Tea Market

Prior to Chile, the Indian delegation will also visit US to explore new possibilities for increasing its presence in US tea market. US has 200 million kg tea market and India has got some 10 million kg share which is really low, whatever we catch from America will be a certain plus for us. US consumers emptied some 84 billion servings of tea last year added Prabhat quoting report from American tea association.