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Taj Mahal Tea Report

By Gur-Pratap Apr 19, 2015 2130 Words

A report by

Student Executives : Submitted to : Gurpratap Singh Prof. Ramola Kumar Brightson B. Daimari
Komal Mathur
Rahul Thiagrajan


We would like to thank Prof. Ramola Kumar for giving us the opportunity to work on this project. We would like to thank the teaching and non-teaching faculty of The Delhi School of Communication for their valuable

support and guidance.


The objective of this project is to understand the aspects of a brand in the real world. Also, to have a clear understanding of the market with respect to a particular brand and target audience.

Taj Mahal Tea - The Champagne of Indian Tea Market
For while India has romanced tea ever since the first tea plantations were laid out on the misty banks of the Brahmaputra in the 1830s, that was the year when the story took on a new shade. For in that year, in a tea taster's chamber in Kolkata, Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea was born. India's first premium brand, it emerged onto the market with a promise never made before - fostering excellence to savour the best. As palates filled with the exquisite flavour of the best tea leaves from the choicest gardens of Upper Assam, it dawned on India that the culture of tea-drinking had reached another plane. In the years that followed, Brooke Bond Taj Mahal entered Indian hearts as one of the country's most loved indigenous brands. The most remembered phase in the brand's history came in the 1980s - with the signing on as brand ambassador of a young man with tousled hair, seraphic smile and exceptional skill honed by hours of practice. Zakir Hussain, the rising star of Indian Classical Music, he personified the brand's values. And just as he foreswore all appreciation by saying 'Arre huzoor, wah taj boliye!', Taj Mahal too could rest on its laurels - of having delivered to India a 'hazaaron mein ek' experience.

As the old saying goes, times change and we are changed with them. As Brooke Bond Taj Mahal entered the tumultuous decades of the 1980s and 1990s, we kept with the times. Lives got more hectic and customers began to demand that things be delivered to them ever faster - even their daily cup of tea. It was a challenge we took on with delight - delivering tea that could be brewed faster, and yet tasted exactly how customers have always expected their cup of Taj Mahal to taste. Applying our long-standing principles, we created a new blend that would go on to become another of India's iconic brands - Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea Bags. Launched in 1987, they were a first in India. Since then, we've never looked back. The time to rest on laurels was over.

For over 4 decades, Taj Mahal has been the gold standard of tea in India. It has been a pioneer of innovations in the Indian tea market – the first premium tea, first to introduce tea bags, first and only tea brand in vacuum packs or the first to usher in new formats and concepts, like instant tea (in the form of Dessert Tea) Taj Mahal is special because it is made from the rarest and the best tea leaves. Brooke Bond experts go through a lot of rigour to ensure that only the best, freshest and juiciest tea leaves from a thousand go into every Taj Mahal pack. Call us choosy but we want every cup of Taj Mahal to give you the perfect sensorial experience that’s one in a thousand.

Taj is not just about tea. It is an experience; a product of exquisite craftsmanship. So it is only fitting that the brand is personified by iconic brand ambassadors who symbolize perfection, expertise and unmatched finesse. Our first brand ambassador, Ustaad Zakir Hussain, stood for excellence in the field of music. His accomplishments are truly spectacular. Our historic campaigns 'Wah Taj' and ‘hazaroon mein ek’ spoke about Ustad's rigor and passion for the quest of perfection, which he only found in a cup of Taj Mahal. Then Saif Ali Khan came on board. His sophistication and refinement complimented the modern world of Taj Mahal. The nawab, instead of following his father onto the cricket field, chose a different path to success and became the nation’s heartthrob. His different approach to life perfectly matched Taj's philosophy of alag andaaz - Of not just drinking tea, but Smelling, Seeing and Savouring each sip. The latest to join Taj's elite league is none other than Madhuri Dixit-Nene. While she is looked upon as Madhuri the mega star, she is equally praised for perfectly playing the role of a loving mother. This unique ability of attaining a perfect balance is the inspiration behind Taj's latest campaign ‘Jugalbandi’, the perfect balance of strength and flavour. TAJ MAHAL TEA VISION:

Our vision is to convert tea lovers into tea connoisseurs. To this end, Taj Mahal conducts tea appreciation workshops known as “Taj Tea Trails”. Each session takes you on a fascinating tea journey – brewing to appreciating the finer aspects of tea. Key facts

Taj Mahal was launched in 1966 by Brooke Bond.
Ustad Zakir Hussain, the tabla maestro was the brands ambassador for over a decade, exemplifying both discernment as well as the pursuit of excellence.This association is the longest association between a brand ambassador and a brand in the world. Taj Mahal is the most premium brand of tea in the Indian market. It was the first brand to launch tea bags and is the only tea brand in India to be sold in Vacuum sealed packs. Saif Ali Khan has been the brand ambassador since 2006

Product Range

Tea market in India
Tea is globally one of the most popular and cheapest beverages with major production centres in India, China, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Turkey & Vietnam. The tea industry is one of the oldest organized industries in India with a large network of tea producers, retailers, distributors, auctioneers, exporters and packers. Total tea production in the world has exceeded 4 billion kgs with India producing about 1 billion kg of tea. During 2008 to 2013, black tea production in India increased at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.6% while consumption rose at a CAGR of 2.3%. India's total annual tea production in 2013 is estimated at 1200 million kgs out of which 65%, approximately 850 to 900 million kgs, is produced by the big tea gardens while about 250 million kgs tea is produced by small tea growers with land area ranging from 2 to 20 hectares. Tea export has remained flat over the years due to increasing competition in the global market and declining quality of tea produced in India. Thus the prices in the industry are expected to be stable with domestic consumption expected to be rising steadily. One of the oldest beverages, Tea makes one of the most competitive and challenging market both in terms of product and competition. The branded tea segment is one of the most highly penetrated branded products in India. Before analysing the market segmentation, it is interesting to understand the product segmentation for the tea market. In terms of product classification, the tea is usually divided into black and green tea primarily and internationally there is some variants of fruit/herbal tea, Instant tea, etc. which has negligible penetration in the Indian market. Further in black tea, there are variants of standard and speciality black tea both in loose and packed form. With increasing disposable income and awareness on product differentiation (aroma, origin, taste etc), the loose/ standard tea is making way for more premium variants and flavours. At the same time, the increasing consumer health quotient is boosting sales for the green tea and its variants – mint, lime/ lemon, classic etc. Green tea has been marketed for many health benefits such as weight loss, effective against diabetes and cancer, healthier skin, stronger immune systems and assisting in hair growth. This has not only resulted in consumption of premium segments but also given an overall push to the unit consumption price point per kg.

To look at the market play, the total branded or the packaged tea (in various forms) market in India is ~9500 crores growing at a CAGR of 5 percent. The branded tea in India can be classified into the packed, tea bag, and flavoured tea segments whereas the unbranded segment is usually the loose tea both in unpacked or tea bag form. As per industry estimates, unpackaged tea accounts for over 45% of value sales of total tea sold in India and has a dominance  presence in the rural market. With the aggressive marketing and promotional schemes along with wide distribution system, the rural market is opening wings to the branded or the packed tea brands – national or regional alike.

In terms of packaged or branded tea distribution, almost the entire urban India is deeply penetrated by various brands. As a typical FMCG product, the kiranas or independent smaller merchants account for the major channel accounting for as high as 65-70 percent of the sales followed by supermarkets and hypermarkets. The other slow emerging segment is the on-trade sales of tea through food service formats such as tea lounges or tea cafes along with hundreds of chai shops.

Another channel of on-trade sales for packaged tea is the tea vending machines increasingly been installed in large office complexes and hospitals etc, but this channel shall witness crawling growth due to the smaller street chai shops that appeals more to the Indian palate.

Packet tea market is extremely penetrated with multiple brands with more than 300 brands in the country, dominated by HUL and Tata tea which have a deep presence in both urban and rural market, across pack and variants and hence together account for 30-40 percent of the total market in the packaged tea segment. The other regional / national players are Waghbakri, Duncan's, Eveready, Goodricke, GPI, Girnar,Sapat, Dhunseri, Mohini, Society, Marvel etc. Among the brands, Brooke Bond, Taj Mahal, Red Rose, A1, Tata Tea Premium, Tata Tea Gold, Tata Tea Agni Dust, Waghbakri, Duncans, Tata Tea Chakra Gold etc are among the key brands sold in the branded, packaged segment though Unilever was the only prominent multinational player present in the Indian tea category and continued to be the market leader in the industry 

New introductions are being increasingly witnesses amongst various brands and notably by Twinning’s green tea variants, such as Green Tea and Mint, Green Tea and Lemon, Elaichi, and Green Tea Jasmine.

These trends are expected to run the market for next couple of years. Premium variants, green tea and its flavours and new flavours and fruit variants shall be launched to target consumers looking for indulgence products. Not only new products, but existing players entering into various price and variant segments and new player entry shall also be expected in packaged tea market. Consumers will also continue to shift from unpackaged to branded tea offerings. Growth is also expected via expansion of modern retail and penetration of branded or packed tea in rural market among other factors. The RTD segment shall also witness a boom and many more players shall be expected to create products with lesser differentiation. On-trade sales of packaged tea shall also be another area to watch out for as new players shall enter with various product and format offerings.  Taj Mahal's Position in the Premium tea segment

Parent Company : Hindustan Unilever
Category : Beverage
Sector : Food Products
Tagline : Wah Taj, Sirf chai nahi ye hai Taj, Wah Wah Taj
Positioning : As elegant and wonderful as Taj

The brand is in the growth stage on the Product Life Cycle . This is majorly because the brand has maintained its product quality and has been continuously adding to the product range.

On the CBBE Model, the brand is resonating. The salient features of the brand are its premiumness and its exclusive selection of teas. The brand performance is excellent on the basis of perfect balance of strength and flavor. The brand is iconic in terms of imagery. The brand is perceived as excellent and elite by the consumer. The judgment about the brand is that it is superior, has great quality and is rich in taste & aroma. The feelings aroused in the consumer's mind are that Taj Mahal is cozy and relaxing. Moreover, it generates a feeling of nostalgia in the consumer's mind due to the brand's rich heritage and association in the past. Thus, the consumers are loyal and consider purchasing this product despite the high competition.

Taj Mahal is the market leader in the premium tea market. The only major competitor is TATA Tea Gold. Other than that, increasing coffee penetration is a major threat to the tea industry.

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