Goodricke diversifies from tea to wine

Tea and Wine had always  a lot in common. Both are anti-aging and potentially a very complex beverage, a drink of delight for the connoisseur. Now there is another common bond about to be sealed in India ; both will be marketed by the same company, presumably drawing synergies. Goodricke, one of the leading premium tea producing companies in the country, has decided to diversify into marketing wine. It plans to launch them in the Indian market in January '07.

Wine will be sourced from Linton Park , the huge, wholly owned subsidiary of Camellia in South Africa . It makes varietals like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz , Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It also produces table grapes, wine grapes and wine cider.

At a later stage, Goodricke hopes to set up its own bottling unit to bring down the costs. The company's move to diversify into wine has been spurred by the recent growth of wine consumption in India , where no body wants to miss the boat, in the 30-35% annually growing industry.  

Goodricke has moved up as a branded tea packaging company with a host of brands. It competes with industry leaders like Hindustan Lever and Tata Tea. The tea major is strong in states like Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Jharkhand.

Goodricke Group is a part of the UK-based. Camellia Plc, the world's single largest tea producer. in the private sector.

"We are not satisfied with the packet tea business showing a declining trend," said P A Leggatt, the Chairman, to the reporters at the AGM.” The company reported 19 per cent volume growth and registered a market share of five per cent last year. Goodricke, exporting instant teas to Japan , is looking at markets in Philippines and Taiwan ”, he further said.

Goodricke produced 17.71 million kgs of tea in 2005 and exported 1.09 million kgs of tea as compared to 1.52 million kgs in the previous year.

Source: The Economic Times

Subhash Arora





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