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Creating the Tstix® experience...

The Coffee shop revolution began just a few years ago, and has now spread worldwide.

Starbucks itself began as a business in 1971, but it wasn’t until the 1980’s that its business began to expand. In 1987 it had just 17 stores, but the 1990’s saw rapid expansion with Starbucks growing to 1015 stores by end of 1996, and then to around 20,000 stores today.

Starbucks changed the way that Americans drank coffee, and in turn became the inspiration for 1000’s of other coffee shops worldwide. It also controlled its own destiny through its store ownership.

Nestle, which owns the world’s leading coffee brand, Nescafé must have watched the Starbucks revolution in dismay.

Their whole business was based on manufacturing and marketing their products primarily through supermarkets. Traditionally there was a clear distinction between ‘retailing’ and ‘manufacturing’, but in the 1990’s this began to rapidly change. Retailers owned the shelf space and the consumer dollar, and therefore they had the power to control what was placed on their shelves.

The ‘private label’ revolution that began in the 1980’s, gathered pace in the 1990’s, and by 2014 it has become the main driving force of the supermarket retailers. Second and third level manufacturer brands are being deleted, and their businesses often destroyed, or they become ‘private label’ manufacturers, often slaves to the retailer’s dictates on price and quality. Even high profile brand leaders were also subject to deletion too, with manufacturers desperate to find new channels to market their brands. On-line shopping has also become more popular, but retailers and the shopping mall are still the controlling force in distribution.

It takes more than a good idea to build a brand, and it also takes time and money. A clear example of this may be Starbucks, but Nespresso is another success story that didn’t happen overnight. The original Nespresso capsule idea was developed in 1970, with the first patent lodged in 1976. It wasn’t until 2002 that the first Nespresso Boutique stores were opened, and now there are flagshop stores in major city fashion centres around the world. Turnover for the product is now over $1 Billion, with some 30% of turnover coming from e-business.

Another success story is Apple computers, but this also was not an overnight success. It started life in 1976, and has also had many failures as well as successes.

The key to Starbucks, Nespresso and Apple lies in their ‘dare to be different’ branding, and commitment to the long term, breaking away from the norm.

So, what has this to do with Tstix?

Tstix is different. It is seeking to break into a traditional market dominated by teabags – a package form that dates back to 1906, over 100 years.

Tea itself, while still the world’s most popular drink after water, due to the massive consumption in China and India is growing in popularity here in the USA, as people begin to recognize that colas, coffees and many juices are loaded with sugar and calories. An aging population is also finding the ‘caffeine hit’ they enjoy during the day, keeps them awake at night, and young students are finding they can study better by sipping tea at night, rather than a coffee. A black or green tea without milk or sugar added has no calories at all – and this is also appealing to a lot of people seeking to lose weight, or take on a healthier diet.

Tstix Teas come in eight flavors – Classic, Spearmint and Tropical blends using Green tea as a base, English Breakfast, Earl Grey de la crème and Berry Bliss made using Black tea, and Lemon lime and Vanilla made with a Rooibos tea base blend.

Tstix teas are sold in a unique package form – a stick pack tube with over 1000 micro-filter holes in the sides of each stick. The tea is held inside the tube and the tea flavor is only released when the stick is stirred into a cup of boiling water. This is what is called “infusion” taking place, and as the tea leaves become saturated with the boiling water, the dried tea leaves expand and close off the holes – stopping the drips that normally happen with a teabag tea.

The tea also tastes cleaner – with none of the bitter tannin taste often associated with tea, and none of the paper taste that sometimes comes with teabags too.

Will Tstix take over from teabags – it is hard to know. The Tstix teas are being produced right here in the USA, and like all great inventions it takes time for people to find out about them. Certainly, Tstix teas are different, but even if you are not a normal tea drinker, it is worth trying a Tstix tea and finding out yourself if you like it.

We hope you enjoy Tstix Teas.

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If you hate the mess and paper taste of teabags, but love tea–Tstix are the answer.

Tstix are the new way to enjoy tea–no strings, tags, staples, no burnt fingers or fishing–you just place a Tstix in your cup, pour on the boiling water and stir your way to a perfect cup of tea.

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