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Choysa In Hot Water As Tea Bag Wars Escalate


For Immediate Release 22 September 2000


CHOYSA IN HOT WATER AS TEA BAG WARS ESCALATE

Unilever Foods, makers of Choysa tea, today defended their television advertisement from criticism being levelled at it by The Bell Tea Company. The Bell Tea Company has laid a complaint with the Advertising Standards Complaints Board.

“The feedback we’ve had from consumers has been all positive – they have found the commercial amusing,” said Bernadette Wake, Business Development Manager, Unilever Foods.

The 30-second television commercial, created by agency Singleton Ogilvy & Mather, stars Winston Peters showing viewers the contents of two teabags and comparing their differences. The advertisement invites viewers to try the test at home and suggests that, “If what you find leaves you stewing…perhaps you should give someone a tinkle.” Peters then sits back with a wry grin and takes a sip from his cup of Choysa tea.

Before the advertisement was created, Unilever Foods commissioned comparative tests with other similarly priced mass-market tea brands in New Zealand. In these tests Choysa tea demonstrated superior quality.

“We are proud of our Choysa tea bags and wanted to show consumers that not all tea bags are of such high quality,” said Bernadette Wake. “As one of the world’s leading marketers of tea, Unilever Foods is pleased to play a role in educating New Zealand consumers about what makes a great cup of tea. At the end of the day, this ad is about quality and when consumers buy Choysa tea bags, they can be sure they are buying a good quality product at a very competitive price,” added Wake.

Roderick de Sylva, Unilever’s Tea Buyer and Blender says, “If tea has been too coarsely picked it contains stalk and twigs that adversely affect appearance and flavour. Although many teas do contain a certain amount of stalk, the more there is, the poorer is the quality of the tea. For a first-class ‘cuppa’ consumers should be looking for a dark dry leaf appearance and when brewed, a bright orange colour; qualities that are self-evident in Choysa,” added de Sylva.

Page 2

Choysa is a household name in New Zealand, renowned as much for its superior quality as its distinctive packaging. The unique bright red and yellow wrapping with its characteristic rugby shaped oval is familiar to generations of New Zealanders.

The Choysa brand was first registered in 1909, although it had been sold for some years before that. Until the 1950s there was no such thing as a national tea brand, and Choysa was the first tea to be marketed nationwide.

Tea Facts & Figures

*In NZ about 355 cups of tea are consumed each year per head of population

*Each NZ household on averages buys tea every 3 and a half weeks

*Tea is consumed by 52% of adults

*24% of adults drink tea, 32% drink only coffee, 27% drink both tea and coffee and 17% drink neither

*The NZ tea market is worth about $50 million


ENDS

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