Source: Unilever

The brand achieved value sales of £700k in grocery last year

Pure Leaf has been given a major, sustainable overhaul – in a move by owner Unilever to add value to the struggling premium tea brand.

It has gone bag-free, moving to all loose leaf tea just over two years after launching with a 10-strong range of mainly bagged options.

Pure Leaf has also dropped its plastic tub pack in exchange for a box of recyclable black cardboard with a colourless window.

The changes came “with sustainability high on Unilever’s agenda” said the supplier. At the same time, it has shaken up Pure Leaf’s variants, adding Camomile Flowers, Peppermint and Rooibos – all of which are naturally caffeine-free.

They join the brand’s seven other loose-leaf teas: English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Gunpowder Green, Chai, Green Tea with Jasmine, and Black Tea with Vanilla. Black Tea with Berries and Green Tea with Mint are no longer available.

Pure Leaf’s radical makeover comes after the brand last year achieved grocery sales of just £700k [Nielsen 52 w/e 8 September 2018].

It made its UK debut in March 2017, backed by a £2m push. Seven months later, the brand added six extra loose leaf variants, with support from £3m of online activity.

In April 2018, Unilever defended Pure Leaf’s first-year performance, despite sales of only £357k in the mults and a raft of delistings in Tesco and Asda.

The brand’s aim was to “provide consumers with a premium tea drinking experience, similar to what they would experience at a traditional afternoon tea” said Fiachra Moloney, Unilever marketing director for tea.

“Loose tea has been steadily growing year on year, driven by Brits wanting to recreate the ‘perfect serves’ they experience in coffee shops and tea houses. We’re giving consumers the option to try this themselves.”