The demand for loose leaf tea has been growing steadily over the past five years in the US alone. In a country whose people have traditionally preferred coffee over tea, such news is great, especially for potential tea sellers eyeing the country’s millions of tea lovers.
If you are thinking of starting a tea business, however, that alone shouldn’t compel you to pursue your goal. Instead, you should take your time and study how the market is, its demographics, the level of competition and several other factors. In fact, for a private label tea seller, the stakes could be higher, which essentially means you must do lots of homework.
There is a lot you will do. But by getting the following seven factors right, your work would be half-done already. They include:
1. Your budget – how small is it?
This business is so accommodating that with as little as $100, you can start and run a successful enterprise. Wholesalers do have them in packages of as low as 250g and often allow one to customize them according to their liking. It’s normal to launch one, even on a shoe-string budget and steer it to generate immense profit, many have done it before.
You must, however, understand that it is your budget that ultimately determines how big or small the startup will be. It will dictate the varieties of tea you will deal in, their sizes, packaging and eventually how big your marketing strategies will be. In everything you engage in, make sure your teas are certified and have proven value.
2. Choose your niches carefully
Tea isn’t a mere beverage, especially amongst a majority of its adherents. For a plant that was originally used for medicinal purposes in Southwest China during the Shang dynasty, its purpose hasn’t changed much. And that’s why, out of the possible 1000+ varieties, everyone has their own preferred type.
Whether you go for premade compositions or create them yourself, make sure your supply of Green Tea, Yellow Tea, Black Tea, Oolong Tea, Puer Tea, and White Tea never runs out. Also, strive to use natural ingredients alone and focus on creating premium blends with herbal, healing features. Remember, tea lovers know their most preferred taste and will stop at nothing to get it.
The essence of this factor stems out of what your business will be all about – creating hundreds of tea species for your clients to choose from. And it is something that the success of your private label tea business would hinge on.
3. Let your Brands Stand Out
Being a private label tea seller gives you the freedom to brand all your products as per your wishes. This should compel you to brand them well, package each variety well and ensure they look appealing to the customer.
Another equally important thing is to ensure your brand is unique and different from what’s in the market. That means they must look exceptional, both in their names and packages and still be priced affordably. Your competitors probably have the same varieties and they might have already won the heart of the clients, but don’t back down.
4. Tailor your products according to your target group
You shouldn’t just start your tea business without knowing who you will be selling to. As part of your market analysis, make sure to identify your market well and know how you will appeal to them. You can do this based on the most popular tea types or the community that likes tea the most.
The US market prefers hot brewed black tea and iced tea more than any other type. It likes the gentle, soothing White tea followed by the smoky and flavorful green tea, the fermented Oolong tea and lastly, the black tea.
China and India are, by far, the largest tea consumers across the world and this is still true among members of these two communities in the US. But if your target market is outside the US, then you might consider targeting countries that drink the most tea.
5. Product Packaging is king!
How a product is packaged has a profound effect on the customer’s overall decision to buy. And so, it’s natural for manufacturers of teas intended for private label sellers to advise their clients on how they will blend, package, label and price their products. Knowing that all of them are just as critical as what’s contained inside, they try to design perhaps the most eye-catching ones.
But if your dealer doesn’t design one for you, don’t sulk. Instead, make sure you engage a reputable designer to come up with bespoke tea design for you. Packaging also includes choosing the right material; so, don’t forget to go for a premium quality material for it.
6. Marketing: Dropshippers could be your best choice
Marketing your private label tea until it gets accepted isn’t easy and might take a while before it rivals the already established brands. However, if you partner with renowned tea drop shippers and agree on costs, you will see them get accepted quickly.
Aside from drop shipping, Amazon and Aliexpress might also offer a perfect avenue of getting your tea brand noticed. You should be willing to pay for online ads too as this will augment their visibility and enhance your reputation.
But, why start a private label tea business?
The real motivation in this business is the lure of massive profit margins. Unlike your generic counterparts, the extra value added on each tea variety is sure to earn you more in profits, even when the taste and flavor don’t change. But ensure to comply with all the state and federal requirements on operating a tea business.
Remember, this business demands a great deal of passion, resilience and the willingness to learn and adapt. Markets change almost regularly and with every change comes an even greater level of competition. If you position yourself in an advantageous position and remain resilient, nothing will stop your tea from getting accepted.
Also, don’t ignore the benefits behind learning new things every day. The private label tea industry in the US is just a portion of the whole world of teas and the best way to be a guru in it is to acquire as much knowledge about it as possible. Enroll in tea blending courses, improve your skills, and study how people’s demand for tea changes.