Tea Board appoints David De Candia as Ceylon Tea Ambassador for USA, Canada

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 00:22 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) appointed David De Candia, a distinguished personality in the tea industry, as the ambassador for Ceylon Tea, for USA and Canada. SLTB, committed to this decision to have an eminent personality to represent and promote Ceylon tea, in the northern US continent, due to the fact that it being a fast growing plausible market for black tea consumption. Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairperson Janaki Kuruppu, commenting on the appointment of De Candia, stated that SLTB decided to appoint De Candia given his passion for Ceylon tea and the vast experience in the global tea industry. He is considered almost a ‘Tea Guru’ in the US market. Sri Lanka Tea Board is planning on workshops with De Candia, targeting tea buyers, retail stores and restaurant associations and to conduct tea promotion programs with Specialty Tea Institute in USA and Canada. Expressing her vision on the strategic decision taken to concentrate on the northern American region, she further elaborated on factors favouring to pick USA and Canada due to the high consumption of black tea in these regions and given the fact that ‘ice tea’ is one of the fastest growing categories in the US beverage market. Hence the opportunities are high for Ceylon tea to succeed in increasing its market share with the correct approach. Stressing on the point that Sri Lankan tea industries need to focus on new markets, the Chairperson commented, that Ceylon Tea stands the opportunity to further penetrate in to these countries, and already having a considerable growth of 23% in imports to USA, from year 2012 to 2013. USA is the fourth largest tea importing country in the world, importing 126 million kilos in year 2012, following Russia, UK and Pakistan. Despite recent global economic crisis, USA remained as the largest economy in the world and still, the undisputed trend setter to the world on food and beverage sector, service sector, and most other sectors. The US market for tea is recorded to have more than quadrupled in last two decades and is anticipating a rapid continuous growth over the next five years, as per the statistics of US Tea Association.  Similarly, Canadian tea consumption is forecasted to have a dramatic increase by 40% from the current consumption worth of $ 130 million, by the year 2020. Black tea dominates in both these countries, as much preferred choice of the consumers, amounting 84% out of total tea consumption in USA, and 89% of the total consumption in Canada. Further value additions and specialties like tea bags and tea pods at higher price ranges are much fancied by the people in North America. Majority of the tea supplied for these Countries at present are relatively of low quality, which opens up a niche for High quality pure Ceylon tea to exploit with an effective promotional campaign. Sri Lanka Tea Board is focusing on positioning Ceylon tea, proposing its uniqueness in terms of quality aspects, health benefits and standards of manufacture. Out of the strategic marketing actions initiated by Sri Lanka Tea Board, selection of a tea ambassador is one initial step taken to increase the presence of Ceylon Tea and to educate and enhance the brand and product awareness, through a reputed personality in the tea industry like David De Candia. De Candia is a highly acclaimed personality, with over 15 years of industry experience and currently working as the Director of Tea, at Tea Leaf and Coffee Bean. He has conducted numerous tea educational classes and shared many tea knowledge forums at World Tea Expo USA, Speciality Tea Institute USA, Hong Kong Tea fair, Culinary Institute and was a judge at the North American Hot and Iced Tea Championships. He was also the initiator in developing the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s Caring Cup program which promotes social responsibility in the Tea growing regions. As Ceylon Tea focuses its promotional message to be strongly linked with the elements of ethical practices, such as non usage of Child labour, facilities provided for state workers, ozone friendly production, usage of skilled labour for hand plucking, etc. A reputed personality like De Candia will be ideal in contributing towards the PR activities, Sri Lanka Tea Board expect to carry out as a part of their promotional plan to position and promote Ceylon Tea in North America. Further Sri Lanka Tea Board plans to implement a National advertising, Digital marketing, Social Media campaigns along with multi faced PR activities targeting to capture a higher share of the North American market for pure Ceylon Tea. Sri Lanka Tea Board is proud to have a well respected personality like De Candia as the Tea Ambassador of Ceylon Tea in USA and Canada.