|Above: Rahul Kale, head of international sales at Typhoo Tea Ltd, says private label products account for 20 percent of his company's business. Photo by Yao Jing / China Daily|
Several overseas food and drink suppliers are trying to sell their distinctive brands in China
Times are tough for Typhoo Tea Ltd, the London-based tea brand. Sales in Europe have dropped because of the recession. Costs are rising.
Two years ago, it introduced its Typhoo brand to China through a distributor in Shanghai, but in a nation where tea is the national drink, success did not come immediately.
This hasn't deterred the company, which runs 10 brands, including Typhoo, Lift, Health & Heather. In addition to these brands, it is attempting to introduce its private label products in China for retailers such as Carrefour.
It already produces private label products for more than 10 retailers in the United Kingdom, including Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Harrods.
"Private labels account for 20 percent of our total business," says Rahul Kale, head of international sales at Typhoo. "Private labels can save us some costs, about 10 percent, mainly in promotion and logistics."
Several overseas food and drink producers are following in the same model of introducing their brands to China and slowly building their businesses by supplying Chinese suppliers with private label products.
Typhoo claims its income in China has been increasing 10 percent annually since its debut two years ago, and that the success of its branded products has given it confidence in the Chinese market. Four of the company's brands are sold in Shanghai's Jiuguang Department Store and in other city boutiques. The average price for 30 grams of its tea is 35 yuan ($5.60; 4.30 euros).
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