STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 5, Number 4

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52 STiR coffee and tea / Issue 4, 2016 (August/September) By Hans Niebergall B eyond its time-honored, traditional appeal, specialty and fruit teas are growing in poplarity, reflecting numerous innovations and capturing the attention of budding tea consumers, especially young people, the world over. Dietmar Scheffler, managing director of Hälssen & Lyon, one of the world's leading tea companies, is a close observer of current developments and international consumption patterns in the global tea trade. Situated since 1879 in the picturesque old port city of Hamburg, Hälssen & Lyon operates the world's largest warehouse facility for premium teas, with a staggering ca- pacity of 25,000 metric tons. "The tea business is global by nature," said Scheffler when asked about today's challenges for a global tea company. "We import tea leaves, herbs, fruit, and assorted ingredients from over 130 countries around the world. We carefully monitor sudden weather and climate issues, as well as dynamic, regulatory requirements from our diverse consumer markets." "Most importantly, we cultivate reliable partnerships with our customers worldwide and our partners in the origin countries. This elaborate network together with our focus on stockholding helps to overcome the fact that the tea world faces weather-related shortages. To secure the supply chain and to PROFILE Hälssen & Lyon's Dietmar Scheffler photo credit Martin Zitzlaff Fruit and floral blends are growing in popularity Managing director Dietmar Scheffler photo credit Mike Schaefer make deliveries on time is by far the most chal- lenging task in today's international tea business," Scheffler explains. What is important for the customer, and what does he or she look for when choosing a supplier? May it be the history of the tea company, the loca- tion, the flexibility, the technical know-how, the innovations, or perhaps the diversity of products? "We find that all of these points are important these days," said Scheffler. "With expertise based on 135 years of experience in the international tea business, incorporating an exceptional variety of teas, herbs, fruits, spices, and other ingredients, spanning decaf teas and instant tea products as well, we, at Hälssen & Lyon, are able to fulfill nearly every consumer demand, whether large or small. Ultimately, product safety and the quality of the tea are of utmost importance to our cus- tomers. Our clientele is very brand-conscious and quality-driven, looking for a special "kick" in the tea composition." As in the coffee business, there is a trend to- ward new tea compositions in the market. What are the new trends for Germany, Europe, and the United States? "Regarding consumer trends, we increasingly note the health and wellness trend. Enlightened di- etary habits have been driving the tea market with the popularity of Detox and other functional teas, reaching more and more tea aficionados," he said. "With this, we are also seeing new flavors in- volving super fruits and innovative new ingredi- ents. Observing tea markets, we notice creative tea start-ups flourishing with high quality teas and exclusive teaware and packaging design in western markets. Even their showrooms are very distinct and exclusive. In the more classic black tea mar- kets, we observe a trend toward green teas, and then within the green tea markets, we see develop- ments towards blends with herbs, fruits, and blos-

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