Eighty per cent of American tea consumption is fresh-brewed iced tea. A glass of iced tea is a welcome and familiar source of refreshment at food-service providers and customers' homes. The specialty tea industry is entering this commodity market, and the potential for growth is enormous. Iced-tea consumers are increasingly looking for complexity of flavor, innovative ingredients, and different ways to access recipes.
Your ally in a huge, challenging market
QTrade understands the challenges a new iced-tea brand or flavor faces in this market, and here are some of the ways it supports its clients:
1. Responding to price sensitivity
The iced-tea market is price sensitive to three or four decimal places. Being competitive requires the kind of robust, long-term supplier relationships that make QTrade the largest supplier of specialty teas in North America.
2. Supporting huge scale
When recipes are operating at the scale demanded by this industry, brands need an ally with reliable suppliers and a strong testing program. A 1% variation in a 200,000 lb order means that 20 locations receive an inferior product. QTrade works with some of the biggest beverage companies in the world, and is familiar with the demands at this scale.
3. Identifying brewer settings
QTrade extensively tests recipes, and considers scores of factors to find the ideal brewer calibration settings. This ensures a consistent customer experience across a country that has wide variations in weather, altitude, humidity, and other factors.
4. Offering versatile packaging
QTrade offers open brew in clear cello bags, foil bags, and filter bags. Recipes are carefully adjusted for each packaging type.
5. Making water-quality adjustments
Water is the most important ingredient that brands have no control over. Water quality varies from region to region, city to city. QTrade can adjust recipes based on the quality of water in the brewing location, ensuring that the consumer experience of the brand is undiminished.
6. Driving innovation
Apart from flavor innovation, QTrade offers specialized input on iced-tea recipes such as menu pairings and seasonal suggestions. This is another way to keep a brand exciting in a demanding, often fickle, market.