"Lipton is not just a tea brand. We believe Lipton can bring sustainability to people’s lives."

Dennis Hung

Lipton leverages its certification to regain consumers’ trust

In a nutshell

Lipton works with key customer PXmart in Taiwan, one of the largest grocery retail companies in the country, to educate consumers on the issues of food safety and traceability. This collaboration addressed a quality issue with tea leaves and reshaped the tea industry in Taiwan, whilst growing sales, market share and consumer confidence.

What’s the issue?

Since 2014, several quality and safety issues (such as pesticide residue) have negatively impacted consumers’ confidence in tea brands, which has impacted the market performance of tea. Consumers in Taiwan are becoming more environmentally conscious yet there is a lack of simple and clear communication highlighting the difference between certified sustainable products and other products.

What’s the story?

Lipton set out to upgrade the quality of tea by working on a Rainforest Alliance (RA) certification with local suppliers. This ensured that 100% of our ingredients in MingSianCing are sourced from Rainforest Alliance certified tea farms in 2015. In addition, we worked with our main retail partner PXmart to engage consumers and help them choose high quality products.

The project integrated Above the Line (ALT) and Below the Line (BTL) marketing plans to illustrate the theme ‘Only drink high quality tea’ and leverage the benefit and influence of Rainforest Alliance certified products.

1. Theme: Combine Lipton’s superior quality tea and high quality fresh produce in PXmart

2. Customer (Channel) Engagement: Lipton invited buyers from PXmart to our suppliers’ tea farms to experience the process of those farms being certified with the Rainforest Alliance certification. This enhanced our partnership and trust.

3. End Consumer Engagement:

ATL communication:

Lipton made use of PXmart’s Facebook page to periodically post about the Rainforest Alliance certification. In these posts, Lipton tells stories about how our certified tea farms can also help to conserve tree frogs. A consumer’s small cup can really make a big difference.

BTL communication:

  • On-shelf POSM: Lipton designed visible Points of Sale materials to catch shoppers’ attention with clear and strong messages. Different types of shelf-displays show consumers that Lipton offers high quality tea, certified by Rainforest Alliance.
  • Creative Tea Recipe: to combine PXmart’s certified fresh produce with Lipton’s certified tea, Lipton designed a creative tea recipe, which teaches consumers how to match fresh products and tea appropriately.

What are the outcomes and impact?

1. Lipton gains customer recognition and support

Following the launch in 2016, Lipton became the first RA certified tea brand in Taiwan. Lipton also helped our suppliers to become the first RA certified tea farms in Taiwan. Consumers now widely accept the notion of certified products, and this is reflected in Lipton’s sales performance. We remain the market leader in the competitive categories of Teabag and Milk Tea Powder in Taiwan. 

2. Lipton’s sales continue to grow in PXmart

We continue to make progress with ongoing Rainforest Alliance communications. We are growing our underlying sales and incremental turnover, despite a difficult market segment.

Undoubtedly, the Rainforest Alliance certification is regaining consumers’ confidence in tea, but this is amplified by the work we have done in terms of communicating to consumers about the importance of food quality and traceability. This benefits both our Tea Category sales and Lipton’s sales. Above all, this project shows that building mutual consensus between brand and retailer can be a key driver for growth and can help build a sustainable business together.

What are the future plans?

Sustainability is a complex concept in Taiwan, which needs a long-term cooperation with retailers to engage consumers. Lipton will continue to cooperate with PXmart to communicate their certified fresh products and continues to educate consumers about certified products. Furthermore, Lipton will launch more Rainforest Alliance certified tea products to meet the demand for more high quality products.

In Summary

“Lipton is not just a tea brand. We make a commitment to our society because we believe Lipton can bring sustainability to people’s lives and create a positive social impact,” Jennifer Yu, Sustainable Business and Communications manager, Taiwan 

To learn more, please contact: Jennifer Yu, Jennifer.Yu@unilever.com

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