Wessanen factory, Dorset

The facility can now produce an additional 100 million teabags per year

Clipper Teas owner Wessanen has invested £1.25m in equipment at its tea factory in Beaminster, Dorset, as part of plans to make the premises “a centre of tea excellence”.

The new production line would enable Wessanen to produce its Dutch tea brand Piramide, a specialist organic brand found in the health food channel across the Netherlands, said the company.

To produce Piramide, the Beaminster factory team sourced 54 new ingredients and tasted more than 100 litres of tea to match or improve the existing recipes, Wessanen said. Once produced, the 88-strong range of teas and infusions will be shipped to the Netherlands.

The Dorset facility is now capable of producing an additional 100 million teabags per year, at a speed of 350 per minute. It supported “the incredible growth we’re seeing for tea and infusions across Europe” said Tony Buckton, Wessanen UK factory manager.

“The decision to invest in the Beaminster factory is aligned with Wessanen’s ambition to make the factory their centre of tea excellence across all their brands.”

UK supermarket take-home value sales of tea are back in growth after five consecutive years of decline. The category has added 3.5% – a gain of £21.9m to £641.7m [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 21 May 2017].