What’s Brewing? – Shaka Tea, ProAmpac and Metropolitan Tea Company, U.S. Foodservice Tea Market

“What’s Brewing?” is a World Tea News round-up of recent happenings, news and factoids from the global tea industry.

Here’s what’s notable:

Shaka Tea Expands Supply Chain to Maui

Shaka Tea – the first line of bottled iced teas on the market brewed with sustainably-grown, Hawaiian māmaki leaves – announced a supply chain expansion to the island of Maui with Mahi Pono, a Maui-based farming company, as an anchor partner. Selling their teas across the islands, the United States and Japan, Shaka Tea is committed to sustainable agriculture and economic abundance by connecting local supply chain to off-island demand, via the burgeoning māmaki industry.

“We are excited to expand our supply chain to Maui, launching with our partners at Mahi Pono, who will be planting māmaki seedlings this year with the goal to see a first harvest in mid 2021,” shared Bella Hughes, co-founder and president of Shaka Tea. “We believe in a resilient, agricultural future for Hawaiʻi that complements high-value and lightweight export crops, such as māmaki, to be grown alongside food crops for local use. “We appreciate Mahi Pono's commitment to a vibrant, sustainable future rooted in community."

Founded in 2016 by Oʻahu born Bella Hughes and her husband Harrison Rice, Shaka Tea is an award-winning herbal tea company and the first line of Hawaiʻi-grown, RTD iced teas on the market brewed with māmaki, an ancient, adaptogenic superleaf that’s only found one place in the world: the Hawaiian archipelago. The company’s supply chain helps restore native ecosystem habitat through the planting of māmaki, which is the host plant for Hawaiʻi’s native and endangered pollinator butterfly, the Kamehameha Butterfly. Presently, Shaka Tea works with 16 small farms on Hawaiʻi Island who all handharvest their māmaki, which is then dried and processed at the company’s Hilo HQ.

“Within the next few months, Mahi Pono will start test trials of māmaki and we are very hopeful that it will thrive on the lands we steward in Central Maui,” said Shan Tstusui, Mahi Pono’s senior vice president of operations. “The initial māmaki crops will be grown in a polycrop style in our Chef’s Corner row crop project alongside other non-GMO crops including kale, sweet corn and green beans. We hope this will encourage other local farmers across the state to look at incorporating native and endemic plants, like māmaki, alongside their various food crops.”

By the end of 2020, Shaka Tea will have given away 25,000 māmaki seedlings on Hawaiʻi Island to get small farmers started and looks forward to giving away 5,000 māmaki seedlings to help small, independent Maui farmers who are part of the Ag Park get started in 2021.

To learn more, visit ShakaTea.com.

ProAmpac and Metropolitan Tea Company Collaborate to Introduce New Packaging Material

ProAmpac, a flexible packaging manufacturer, announced the release of its pioneering ProActive Compostable package, designed in collaboration with Metropolitan Tea Company.

Metropolitan Tea’s luxury tea bag pouch uses an innovative multilayer, high barrier flexible package made from home and industrial compostable films and adhesive. As part of ProAmpac’s ProActive Sustainability product suite, all components of the fin-sealed ProActive Compostable package comply with the ASTM standard D6400 and ISO Standard EN13432.

“The pouch is designed specifically to support specialty teas by using a multilayer structure with superior oxygen and moisture barrier, which is critical for preserving product freshness,” said Hesam Tabatabaei, vice president of product development and innovation for ProAmpac. “In addition to package integrity, the ProActive Compostable overwrap has a unique sealant technology for running on high speed form/fill/seal applications and the structure can be both surface and reverse printed using up to 10 colors of HD flexographic ink to create eye-catching graphics.”

Gerry Vandergrift, founder of Metropolitan Tea Company, said, “We passionately challenged ProAmpac with our vision for a tea bag pouch made with 100% home and industrial compostable material. In a remarkably short period of time, ProAmpac delivered, or as we like to say, ‘We pushed the envelope, and ProAmpac sealed it.’”

To learn more, visit ProAmpac.com/Sustainability and MetroTea.com.

U.S. Foodservice Tea Market Poised to Grow

Foodservice Tea Market in US 2020-2024, a new report by ResearchAndMarkets.com, is now available. The report notes that the foodservice tea market in the United States is poised to grow by USD 2.66 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of four percent during the forecast period.

According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the foodservice tea market is driven by rising demand for mobile foodservice and the functional benefits of tea. The study identifies the growth of food delivery and the takeaway market as one of the prime reasons driving the foodservice tea market in U.S. growth during the next few years.

The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current U.S. market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment.

For more information about this report, visit ResearchAndMarkets.com.

- Aaron Kiel, World Tea News