Typhoo is rolling out new ec0-friendly packaging to reduce waste and help it undercut its competitors’ prices by 20%.

In a move hailed by Typhoo as “the biggest ­innovation in tea since the introduction of round teabags”, Typhoo Eco Refill is aimed at the 80% of consumers who decant teabags from the packaging into another container.

Typhoo has packed 40 bags of its standard black (rsp: £1.09) and decaf (rsp: £1.19) tea in foil-fresh pouches that weigh 1.7g 92% less than Typhoo’s usual cardboard boxes, which cost £1.25 for standard and £1.42 for decaf.

The refills have just gone on sale in Morrisons stores and are due to roll out across the trade over the coming months. They ­offered a lower price point than Tetley and PG Tips’ 40-bag packs, which retailed at £1.15 and £1.35 respectively, said Typhoo.

The launch is the latest initiative by Typhoo to turn around a decline in sales. Though overall tea market sales volumes are down 1.3% year-on-year, Typhoo volumes fell by 25.8% and value fell 16.9% to £19.5m [SymphonyIRI 52w/e 1 October 2011].

But a complete overhaul of the brand included “improvements to the blend to deliver a fuller flavour”, said CEO Keith Packer. He added that in recent blind taste tests by independent sensory test centre WSS, 48% preferred Typhoo to other leading brands.

A pack redesign has also brought back Typhoo’s old red packaging and features the strapline ‘Great British Tea since 1903’.

And Typhoo, bought by Apeejay Surendra in 2005, also kicked off a new TV campaign last month ­featuring adventurer Ben Fogle.

The changes appear to be working, as SymphonyIRI recorded a 26% uplift in ­value sales in the past ­quarter compared with the previous 12-week period [12w/e 1 October 2011].

Packer admitted losing listings in some Waitrose stores in July, though the retailer continues to stock 160-bag packs of Typhoo in 141 of its 267 stores. “We intend to launch Typhoo Eco Refill and build distribution across the full breadth of UK retail outlets, including Waitrose,” Packer said.

He added that Typhoo had taken on own-label supply for five new customers in the UK, “reflecting the outstanding quality and value we offer”.

Claire Nuttall, senior partner at branding agency 1HQ, said the eco-pack “will positively ­affirm Typhoo’s taste and ‘oo’ values, but may not encourage re-evaluation of the brand as a whole, which could be a deeper-rooted challenge”.