Mighty Leaf Tea Strategy

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Mighty Leaf Tea Company
The Mighty Leaf Tea company was founded in 2000 by Jill Portman and Gary Shinner. The couple was inspired to enter the tea industry while shopping for engagement rings in 1990. The company is known for pioneering the whole leaf tea pouch, filled with whole tea leaves, herbs, and fruits. “The company's goal is to bridge the gap between quality and experience of the whole leaf product with the convenience of a bag,” states co-founder Jill Portman (Wollman). Mighty Leaf Tea initially bloomed in the high-class market, becoming popular in high-end hotels, restaurants, and specialty food shops. In 2007, the company was faced with the decision of going mass market by selling its premium whole-leaf teas in supermarkets. In any major company decisions such as this, it is important to consider the company strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats faced in expanding.

A major strength of Mighty Leaf Tea is the company’s unique bag design. Tea lovers themselves, co-founders Portman and Shinner opted to move away from the unbleached paper tea bags of old, because they did not bring out the full flavor of the tea, imparted a paper taste, and often had chemical byproducts (Wollman). Mighty Leaf Tea trademarked their new teabag, which acted as a roomy mesh pillow stitched with natural cotton thread. It maximized the flow of hot water to the leaves and created the rich taste of tea made from loose leaves. They also changed the contents of the tea bags as well. Many other tea brands were filling their bags with indistinguishable bits, the detritus left after tea leaves were sifted and graded. Instead, Mighty Leaf Tea opted to use full tea leaves instead of just partial pieces or “tea dust” (Fabricant).

One of the weaknesses of the Mighty Leaf Tea company was the price of their product. Although they had gained a significant share of the high-end market, they hadn’t experienced success in major supermarket chains. Uneducated...
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