Talk about a storm in a tea cup.
Twinings has stirred the wrath of customers by meddling with the flavour of its Earl Grey tea, prompting dozens of complaints on the brand’s website and even the creation of an (admittedly small) Facebook group calling for the return of the old blend.
Some of the comments on the Twinings website particularly those questioning why the company would change something that was so good to start with bring to mind the New Coke debacle, when a reformulation of Coca-Cola in 1985 provoked such outrage that, just three months after it was replaced, the original was back on shelf.
But the big difference in Twinings’ case is that, despite the brouhaha (or should that be brewhaha?), the change appears to be working.
Figures for the past 12 months show a huge spike in sales of Twinings Earl Grey teabags immediately after the revamp this April and, three months later, volume sales are still higher than before the new taste arrived.
You don’t need to consult the tea leaves to work out that it is probably here to stay.