How to Start Selling Tea Online – Part 1

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How to Start Selling Tea Online – Part 1

Starting and running any business is challenging. Tea business is no different. The global tea market is worth over 200 billion dollars and is estimated to reach the value of over 260 billion in the next 2.5 years [Statista]. In such an enormous market, selling tea can be both exciting and confusing. Maybe the online tea business will be your first business ever, or maybe you want to include a tea line into your existing business. How to start Selling Tea Online guide will be of help in both situations.

This guide will cover:

  • Questions you need to answer before opening a tea company
  • What you should keep in mind when choosing tea and deciding on your brand identity
  • What you need to think about in advance before launching

Your passion, knowledge and skills will play an important role in running a successful tea business and planning ahead will save you a lot of time once you launch.

We prepared a review of 14 essential steps to guide you in starting an online tea business. Although online tea businesses share a lot of touching points with traditional brick-and-mortar tea shops, there are significant differences. For example, you won’t be needing a physical space, but you will need a good website.

You don’t need to go through these steps in the order they are listed, although you will need to cover some of them before registering your company. Once you start, you may find yourself coming back to previous steps, tweaking your unique selling point, changing your tea assortment, or even a business model.

The first 7 steps to a successful online tea business

1.      Decide on your business model

The first step in starting an online tea business is deciding on a best suited business model. Further steps will all depend on the business model you choose. For example, selling tea on a marketplace platform will require a different type of content, and you won’t necessarily need to invest in your own web shop.

Some questions to answer:

  • Who do you want to sell tea to? Consumers? Hospitality industry?
  • Will you only have an online tea shop, or you plan to open a traditional tea shop too?
  • Do you want to start a tea subscription service?
  • Do you want to source your teas or are you thinking about drop shipping options?
  • Do you want to own your online tea shop, or you want to offer tea on platforms like Amazon, eBay and Etsy?

2.      Create USP for your online tea company

USP or a unique selling point is as important as the product you are selling. USP should show your goal, passion and uniqueness to customers, and differentiate you from competition. And that’s not simply just tea. Try to find an answer to why your product is the best – and search it in all areas of your business, from prices to customer service.

Some questions to answer:

  • Why are you selling tea?
  • What makes your teas unique?
  • What can you offer that’s different from others?
  • What are the best things about your business?

3.      Which teas do you want to sell?

There are thousands of pure teas in the world, grown in over 70 different countries. Add tisanes to the list, and you will end up with an unlimited number of potential teas you could sell. It’s important to decide which teas you want to sell – Camellia sinensis teas such as white, green, oolong and black or tisanes (herbal and fruit teas)? Or maybe you want to sell both.

Some questions to answer:

  • Which teas will you be selling – Camellia sinensis, herbal or both?
  • Will your teas be unflavored, flavored, or both?
  • Will you sell single origin teas or blends?
  • Is organic important to you?
  • Do your teas need to be as sustainable as possible?
  • Will you be selling pure or functional teas?
  • How many teas will you offer?
  • Will you be selling loose leaf tea or tea bags?
  • Do you need to learn more about tea before you start?

Explore our pre-made functional blends or request your own recipe.

4.      Make sure you check all requirements for selling tea online

Once you decide on your business model and teas you want to sell, you can check what are the legal requirements for selling tea online in your state or country. Different countries have a different set of requirements. For example, FDA has its own set of requirements for packaging but also for importing tea. Depending on where you live, you may also need a food permit to sell your products. You may be able to avoid dealing with some of them by – for example, choosing a wholesale company based in your own country that already sorted out many documents, or is selling locally grown tea.

Some questions to answer:

  • Which permits do you need to sell tea online?
  • What are the requirements for labels in your state/country and in states/countries you want to sell tea in?
  • Do you need a warehouse and are there any special requirements?
  • If you import tea by yourself, which documents will you need?

5.      Choose a name for your online tea company

Your name is what your customers will see first, so it’s always good to invest more time into choosing the perfect name. Try to make it memorable. However, your brand’s name and future web shop domain can be different from your company’s name. Although you don’t need to have a word “tea” in your brand name, try to make it clear enough for your future customers to know what you are selling.

Some questions to answer:

  • Will your brand name and company name be the same?
  • Is anyone else already using the name you want?
  • Is a domain with a brand name you want available?
  • If you are using two or more words for a brand name, how do they read without spaces?
  • Are there any legal requirements for naming a company in your state/country?
  • If you plan to sell tea to customers outside your country, will they be able to easily pronounce or understand your brand name?
  • What will be the personality of your brand? Do name and personality match?

6.      Create a simple business plan

Start building a simple business plan. Making a business plan may look like an unnecessary task, especially if you are financing your business by yourself or want to have a small one-person business. However, it will help you stay focused and reach your goals. Your business plan can be very concise and include only a few pages.

Some questions to answer:

  • Who will you be selling to?
  • What is your business idea and what makes it good?
  • What are your goals and projections for the next year?
  • What will your pricing be like?
  • How much will you be spending on utility bills, marketing, accounting, salaries, etc.?

7.      Register your tea company

Once you have a plan, it’s time to register your company. You are likely not allowed to sell tea products before registering a company. This may take a couple of weeks and you will need to provide all required documents. You can do this alone or hire someone to help you.

Some questions to answer:

  • How easy is to register a company by yourself?
  • Will you be selling tea as a sole proprietor or an LLC?
  • Where will you open a business bank account?
  • What are other legal requirements for registering a company?
  • Do you need an insurance?

The next 7 steps to launch a Successful Online Tea Business

After these first 7 steps you will have a clear vision about your future company. You will know which teas you want to sell, understand your budget needs, and have a registered company. Next week’s “How to Start Selling Tea Online” guide will cover the next 7 steps to successfully launch your business – from creative and technical requirements to marketing strategy and launch plan.

Need help with deciding on your tea line? Check out the cross reference list for pre-made functional blends to get inspired or contact us for more help in choosing the best teas or creating your own blends to suit your business needs.

Industry Updates…Buy Domestically, Contract Grow, and Buy Long

Oat Straw

Now is a great time to have a partner in contract growing and a wide source of suppliers to help you with your supply chain. 

We are encouraging our customers to Buy Long:

If you can, we advise you also to buy long. This year has been a hard year for sourcing, and we are only seeing it getting worse. Companies are planning their holiday productions earlier this year, and stocks are drying up faster than the product can come in. Larger companies are shoring up their stocks by buying everything they can get their hands on. We are also seeing blind price increases and erratic pricing happening daily. Price quotes are lasting only 24 hours as supply can be gone in less time than that. We are telling everyone we work with to buy long if you can afford it, buy enough supply to last you into Jan/Feb. Especially your staple ingredients. The more common ingredients are disappearing fast; some of our clients are forced to buy from alternate sources at much higher prices. We are also recommending you place orders for back-ordered items to secure your stock when something does come in. We have seen products sell out in minutes once back in stock due to pre-purchases and a run on the ingredient once arrived. Don’t let your margins erode during the holiday season. Order today! If we can help you find something, let us know. We are here to help.

Plan to grow (literally) with us! 

Oat Straw

Spot buying has always had its pitfalls but even more in recent years.
· Here are some of the down sides to ‘spot buying’
o Is the material available at all?
o Will the quantity you need be available?
o Will the quality meet your specifications?
o. If not, too late to adjust since already harvested and stocked?
o You are at the mercy of the market prices for that particular ‘herb/botanical’ at that particular ‘price’ which is usually higher?
o Spot buying is becoming more something of the past for many herbs/botanicals because suppliers are not willing to produce & stock?

· Here are some of the advantages of contracting/ contract growing
o. Supporting domestically grown farming (therfoer better carbon footprint), farm direct, biodiversity, tracablity and more. Help us grow our network
o The material will be available when you need it -ideally you are planning the seasonality and working with our farms
o The quantity will be provided when you need it
o The quality and specifications will be as requested in the beginning of the process
o We know what it takes to grow and produce each species so parameters are met
o The price is predetermined so you can budget and do not have to spend valuable time shopping around
o Contract growing will minimize shortages and rejections and OOS situations and the many headaches that go along with them
o Let us help make your job easier

Order today! If we can help you find something, let us know. We are here to help. Email sales@buildablend.com Click here to see currently growing items to book!

Here is a list of our items we supply and contract grow in CA: (make sure to check ALL TABS on this live doc)

Tea Industry Trend Watching

As posted in our Tea Industry Career and Trends

Trend sharing from where I sit: Less camellia, more botanicals. More and more genuine care and concern for the story – the traceability, the health of the soil, plants, and people = planet. Will consumers pay the premium for that story? That is where we all need to ban together and educate for the long haul. It is ironic, I know. My company Eco Hub Inc, DBA Build a Blend and Ingredient Hub are on the path of telling that story, growing more domestically, and having that seed to cup process – with regenerative and restorative practices.

Personal brands – business has changed. The major company competition more and more is your local trusted expert – and their personal brand.

However, I also do know that there are some quick (and dirty) huge sales in ingredients and iced teas. Getting cleaner teas and botanicals and iced teas…that is going to be work. I see consumers actually caring about a good tea lately and speaking up! Distributors – you need to jump on that! We need to partner together for that supply chain – back to the farm – support. $$ Let’s invest together for quality and care.

Cheers, Friends!

#cleanfood #regenerative #tea #botanicals #trends #brands #personalbrand #health #peopleplanet #teabusiness #trendsintea #industry

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Ingredient Delays, New Offerings and Updates

Shortages are Coming: Let’s Plan Your Tea Needs

Keep reading below for updates on packaging, contract growing, design services, and more.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for being our partners in health and wellness and in teas and botanicals. We want to keep you informed: we have been seeing shortages in organic ingredients coming down the pike for months, and now they are here.

  • Due to port delays, pandemic-related issues, and overall growth of all things wellness – there are delays in receiving many organic ingredients such as chamomile, rose hips, cardamom, thistles, lemon myrtle, ginger, and passion flower – to name a few.
  • We continue to work on getting a steady supply of these items but need your help in planning.
  • The best way to try to help secure these items is to send purchase orders for the next coming months or year to plan inventory and help secure yours.
  • This is the only way for us to plan and allocate to your plan as best we can.
  • Your online orders can also be used to plan and many will be out of stock as of this week. Your order can sit in the queue to ship as soon as possible and will be your plan as well.
  • We encourage you to take a look at your planning for the year and send POs to sales@buildablend.com with your annual plan. Or, order online today to secure product now, and put in order notes to ship later this year if needed.

Thank you for your attention and we look forward to long-term growth and partnering with you.

In the past few months, we have also added:
*logo, website, packaging design services, and organic / compliance consulting
*contract growing
*onboarding of new farmers to grow for our customers
*new water-soluble powers with new additions
*new blends in wellness teas
*new iced teas packed and ready for restaurants and QS establishments
*turnkey packaging checkout – just add your teas

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SEE WHAT’S NEW!

 

The market demanded and Build A Blend responded!

We are excited to offer 15 TEA POWDERS and TEA STICKS that are trending on the market with turnkey solutions for your private label needs! Our powders offer traditional and functional health benefits made easy and accessible for active, healthy lives on the go!

TEA POWDERS and STICKS keep life simple:

  • Convenient on the go solutions for brands customers
  •  Brew and go – no steeping time
  • Easy for travel or at the office – “wherever you go, you can tea” 
  • Only pure ingredients – from harvest to your cup – no fillers, sub-ingredients or curing agents
  • Made to order for your unique brand 
  • Custom blended and formula options include adding probiotics or CBD to any powder. *Coming soon – broad-spectrum CBD with no THC in full Cannabinoid panel…STAY TUNED!

SHOP NOW! https://www.buildablend.com/shop/

 

 

 

 

Organic Tea Wholesale

If you are looking for Organic Wholesale Tea, you have come to the right place.

Build A Blend, offers organic wholesale tea, tea powders, tea bags, formulation and packaging.

Simply order online here or contact us for more information for a detailed quote.

Private Label – Click Here

Organic Wholesale Tea Private Label

 

Starting a tea business is easier than you think.

1) Simply find a reputable supplier like BuildABlend.com.

2) Create an eCommerce Website to sell your new tea. After Dark Grafx is our recommended choice. Simple Shopify Solution for your tea business to get you up and running fast. Tell them you heard about them on BuildABlend for a discount!

3) FIN!

What’s all the Buzz about Kombucha Tea?

By Mackenzie Hintz

Picture Credits: My New Roots

Kombucha (kawm-boo-chah)

There’s a buzz around the topic of Kombucha, a bubbly fermented tea beverage loaded with probiotics that promotes a healthy gut and immune system. Different flavors of Kombucha can be found in any grocery store, on tap at restaurants, throughout the globe, and even Kombucha festivals.     

What is its orgin?  

Build a Blend is your source for kombucha tea and ingredients B2B and R&D.

Although Kombucha is rising in popularity today, it has been a sacred drink for thousands of years. The origin of Kombucha dates back to the Tsin Dynasty and was thought of as the “Tea of Immortality”. The name would later morph into Kombucha, when a Korean physician named Kombu treated the Japanese Emperor Inyko with his special fermented tea blend taking on the name ‘Kombu’ and ‘Cha’ meaning tea. Today Kombucha is used all over the world taking on it’s own unique culture.

What’s in it?

Kombucha is brewed using tea and sugar through a fermentation process that requires a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (this is called the Scoby and looks a bit like a floating mushroom). Tea is an essential ingredient as it is responsible for the flavor of the drink. The most popular tea used when brewing Kombucha is organic black tea but other teas like organic oolong, green, and flavored will work just as well.

Kombucha is also a rather easy and healthy drink to make at home and can be fun to experiment with different ingredients like different types of teas, fruit, juice, herbs and even hops used for beer. Follow these steps below for brewing your own strawberry Kombucha at home.

 

Tools you will need:

Recipe and Steps of Kombucha making

1 Gallon glass jar

Measuring cup

Pot

Wooden spoon

Cheesecloth

Rubber band

Glass bottles

 

Ingredients:

1 Gallon of purified water

1 Cup organic white sugar

8-10 bags of Build a Blend organic green tea

OR tea flavor of your choice

1 Scoby (Store bought or cultivate your own!)

2 Cups Kombucha starter tea (from your last batch or store bought)


Second Fermentation: (Optional)

3 Cups strawberry juice (or juice of your choice)

OR

2 Cups fresh or dried strawberry (or fruit of your choice)

 

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add in sugar and tea. Stir well and allow to steep with the lid off. The water should cool to room temperature.
  2. Once the water has completely cooled, transfer it to your clean gallon jar. Stir in the Kombucha starter tea. Then use the wooden spoon to add in the scoby.
  3. Cover the jug with the cheesecloth and secure with the rubber band. Store in a slight warm, dry spot. Temperatures too cold can slow down fermentation time.
  4. Kombucha takes time, so be patient. Let sit for about 2 weeks. You can begin to taste test after 7 days and then every few days until desired taste. The less fermentation time, the sweeter the Kombucha will be.
  5. The Kombucha will begin to turn cloudy and fizzy, this means the scoby is activating.
  6. When ready to bottle, make sure to remove the scoby and have have clean hands and tools.
  7. Bottle the Kombucha either with a funnel or transferring from large brewing jar to small container with spout. Seal bottles and store in fridge.
  8. Next is the second fermentation process which is optional but this is where you can really customize the Kombucha to your liking, the possibilities are endless.

If you want to carry out the second fermentation, divide the juice or fruit among the bottles first, then add the brewed Kombucha on top. Seal the bottles and let at room temperature for 2-3 days until it is carbonated to your liking, then store in the fridge.

Very important: remember to release the pressure in the bottles every day that they sit at room temperature – this is called burping – open the lid briefly to let  any excess gas out, which will prevent an explosion.

  1. Serve Kombucha with fresh fruit or herb garnish and enjoy this healthy tea drink!

 

Buy Loose Leaf Tea for Wholesale

Buy Loose Leaf Tea for Wholesale, Resale or Distribution

If you are interested in buying direct from best tea experts in the business, look no further! Contact Us today for a quick discussion about your needs.

We are your source for the best loose leaf tea online. Organic Tea blends, Wellness Teas and more. Click here for the latest trend in tea blends or Click here if you just need a Tea Packaging Solution.

Buy Loose Leaf Tea Online

Do you have questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions Page Here.

So, chat, email or call us to start the conversation.

There are so many benefits of tea. Our favorite is the tried and true organic green tea. Green Tea benefits are touted online and more information about this amazing tea can be found here.

Increasing Your Tea Sales With These Sales Promotion Ideas

Some of the most challenging AND exciting things about owning and operating a business is drumming up new business promotional ideas.  We here at Build a Blend are committed to posting some of our ideas and recipes, simple and sometimes in bullet format, to help awaken and drive the creative side in promoting your tea program.  It is always great to highlight teas that are appropriate for you to showcase in your stores or business, according to your local taste, weather, and events. The idea here is to help us all to discuss marketing ideas to collectively drive the sales in Specialty Tea. After All, seasonal and limited time offers (LTO) are known to drive sales year after year. Perhaps it is time to consider adding a LTO and a couple of suggested bulleted items:

 

  • Elect a team member on your staff to take a picture that embodies ideas below and post on your Social Media pages at least two per week
  • Offer a code on your post for an instore or online discount or freebie
  • Take two (or more)  teas and recommend blending them together for a new recipe (I call this the Jelly Belly effect). For example:  Vanilla Black goes GREAT in balancing ANY of your other black tea blends. I call this POST blending. Vanilla and Jasmine Green Tea and Earl Grey – top notch amazing blend. Steep this, pour it over ice, add milk. Amazing. Try putting it in a Soda Stream for a fabulous tea soda.  Lychee jelly (nata de coco) or any honey or boba sweetener makes this a sophisticated and fun iced tea.
  • Try cross promoting your teas with your local Chocolate or Cheese store and working on a tea pairing menu with their menu. Promote any info, menus, on social media, online, and create a Press Release to send out about your cross promotion and co-mingling effort
  • Ask your staff what customers have been asking for and try that
  • Delegate, delegate, delegate – do what you are good at and hand the rest over to your amazing staff members. Trust that they have your best interest and ask them to possess eyes of ownership when running with their ideas
  • Yes we sell many teas that are popular, but what will be popular for you is truly what you and your staff love and talk about. Ask your most passionate employee to create a recipe.
  • Every month is health month. Every month can be a dessert tea month. Feature teas and elixir promotions on these two things thoughts: We all want to be healthier – and tea is the perfect way to replace a soda, coffee, or sweet tooth habit
  • Make “wine note” cards about the teas you are selling – everyone loves a story and descriptions. It will also help train your staff.
  • Create a Local Restaurant wholesale program. You have worked hard on your brand. It is time for another revenue stream. Offer hot and iced tea programs. Make it a “Support Local or Buy Local” effort / campaign
  • Sponsor a local charity event and sell iced teas and donate a percentage to the cause. If you REALLY want to sell a lot – consider adding value additions to the bottom such as jelly (nata de coco), boba, or popping juice balls — don’t forget this wide straws! Sell the jelly in small jars, your teas, hand out bogo coupons, etc at the event
  • We don’t believe in competition, we believe there is enough business for everyone: so let’s put your logo and link on our website at the bottom of www.buildablend.com and you can put ours on yours, if it makes sense for your business: email info to sales@buildablend.com

 

We would love to hear from you:  What is your favorite promotional campaign, cross promotion, national or local campaign that was successful for you?  What are your recipe ideas? Email sales@buildablend.com