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Germany continues tea promotions.

Tea - and all's clear" is a rather inadequate translation of a subtle slogan submitted to us, not by a professional copy writer, but by a reader of our advertising campaign taking part in the competition calling for witty tea-related slogans. It is fair to say that this slogan is also a valid description of the German Tea Council's activities during the 38th business year.

Following the corporate restructuring process in 1990, our set task was to ensure that the resources contributed by the tea producing countries India, Kenya and Sri Lanka, and the German trade, are invested in entirety, as far as possible, in concrete promotional activities, and to minimize the overheads for administration.

We have now reached a point that permits a conclusive resume, and the results are impressive. During the last business year, 80% of the available budget was spent on actual promotion and public relations activities. The administration costs accounted for a mere 20%, and yet overall efficiency improved measurably.

Right at the outset of the year which ended on September 30, 1991, the Tea Council launched a concerted generic promotion campaign with emphasis on classic advertising and PR, with the objective of increasing tea's popularity by projecting an image of tea as thoroughly modern beverage. Simultaneously, we aimed to heighten public awareness of the Tea Council's existence as a reliable authority on tea-related matters.

Tea has enormous potential in Germany, more so today that ever before, not only since the collapse of the borders separating East and West Germany and the widely prevailing health conscious attitude of consumers, but also by virtue of tea's credentials as a high quality, modern, healthy and versatile beverage.

Market review

A glance at recent years' per capita consumption growth of so-called "healthy" drinks reflects the German consumer's continuing health consciousness which demands "satisfaction without side-effects". The consumption of mineral water soared by 48% between 1985 and 1990 to reach 85 litres per capita, and during the same period, fruit juices shot up by 57% to 39.6 litres. Soft drinks went up by 19% to 85 litres per head, with marked growth in the field of calorie reduced and diet beverages, and sportsmen's drinks. Consumption of tea increased by about 4.5% last year to reach 14,650 tons. However, taking into account that this figure includes sizeable purchases by East German consumers, and that the population of West Germany has expanded, actual consumption has probably remained unchanged. The 20% increase in the tea tax yield during the first half of 1991 would appear to indicate that more tea is being drunk.

We shall have to wait until next year for accurate figures reflecting the tea consumption in the country as a whole. By purely mathematical computation, the per capita consumption of tea in 1990 for the whole of Germany worked out at 240 grams. Summarizing, it can be said that the consumption of tea is stable, and has been so for some years. In the face of dramatically increased figures for mineral water and soft drinks, plus tisanes and herbal infusions, it is gratifying that tea is holding its own.

During the business year under review, the German Tea Council put all its efforts into promoting an image of tea as a modern beverage absolutely in tune with the times, healthy, natural, and flavorsome. Public relations and classic advertising are the two main vehicles which are used to interpret the promotion measures, with the objective of a), winning over "newcomers" to tea, and b), demonstrating to the "occasional" tea drinker the enormous variety of flavor that tea offers, thus encouraging greater appreciation, greater curiosity and higher consumption.

The Tea Boards showed a keen interest in East European markets and the East German market. Germany, and Hamburg in particular, is regarded as the gateway to East Europe.

The efforts of the board of directors to step up the level of contributions from the German trade were welcomed by the Tea Boards, as this increase signifies an improvement in the ratio of payments coming from the trade and the producing countries.

Report on Activities

The cartoon-style advertisements created for us by the agency, Windi Winderlich Design Kommunikation, on the basis of a market survey, was relaunched in the year under review with a series of new illustrations and slogans. A total of more than 150 1/4 page and 1/3 page advertisements were published nationwide in city-news gazettes and high-circulation magazines such as "Stern", "Freundin", "PM-Magazin", "Wiener", "Tempo", "Prinz" and "ad Eins".

The advertisements included a competition inviting witty slogans relating to tea, with tea sets offered as prizes for best entrants, and encouraged readers to write in for a free brochure. The wittiest slogans (we received some 7,000 entries) provided basic material for new advertisements.

This consumer campaign was backed up by a complementary campaign which ran in the major trade journals directed at caterers, hoteliers and wholesale trade. These advertisements publicized the Tea Council's objectives and activities, and provided background information on the campaign.

A brochure of information designed to be of interest to the trade target group was produced as a follow-up to the campaign. The basic tea manual was revised and reprinted and is distributed in conjunction with this brochure.

A whole range of cooperative measures managed jointly by the PR agency, BMC Concept PR and the Tea Council, were successfully carried through. The target of the PR campaign was to create awareness of tea through the media as a modern, up to the minute, healthy and versatile beverage.

Our media contacts know by personal experience that the Tea Council can always be relied upon to provide tailored information, material and advice for articles and features highlighting tea. The East German media were approached by the PR agency at a very early stage, and provided with the Tea Council's standard informative material. Numerous full-spread features that appeared in glossy magazines as well as in trade journals substantiate the success that has been achieved in this field - contacts measured between August 1990 and July 1991 reached 249 million, an absolute record. One reason for the upsurge of reporting in the printed media was undeniably the production of new, sophisticated photographic material depicting "tea situations," plus a number of shots designed to satisfy enquiries from trade journals.

A number of broadcasting stations spotlighted tea, and two television features presented a portrait of tea as an enjoyable beverage and as an important commodity, incorporating excerpts from our video "Abenteuer Tee."

Based on the recognition that caterers often fail to give tea the attention it deserves, the PR agency evolved a special promotion drive to revive the British tradition of "High Tea" as an incentive for hoteliers and restaurateurs. An attractive folder containing basic information, suggestions for serving, recipes and photos was distributed to approximately 400 top class hotels. The folder included a questionnaire which will allow us to assess the acceptance of the suggestions. Some 170 folders were sent to the trade press and the results have been impressive. About 500 middle category hotels received a personal letter from the Tea Council, explaining the "High Tea" promotion drive and offering the folder. At the time of reporting, over 240 hotels have made use of this offer.

The Tea Council's press bulletin, "Tea News", was distributed to about 700 journalists and received a wide echo in the daily press as well as trade journals.

The PR agency sifted and evaluated market data and compiled reviews which are made available to Tea Council member companies, providing useful material for monitoring the position of tea and for developing their own brand orientated campaigns.

Two leaves and a bud in gold, the "Golden Tea Leaves", is the Tea Council's special award of merit. New criteria have been drawn up for the presentation of the award, which is a mark of recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of tea, and can be bestowed on individuals from a number of fields, i.e. tea producing countries, foodstuffs trade, tea wholesale trade, speciality tea trade, tea import, catering and journalism. The award is given PR coverage in order to gain media exposure for the Tea Council as a tea "headquarters."

In 1990/91, the award was presented to Olav C. Ellerbrock (Halssen & Lyon GmbH, Hamburg), Hans-Fedo Busch (G.W.A. Westphal Sohn & Co., Hamburg) and Johann Jutting (J. Bunting Teehandelshaus GmbH & Co.).

Catering

The tea lectures held by nutrition expert Mrs. Traute Hartmann at vocational schools for caterers, have constituted a basic pillar of the Tea Council's generic promotion programme for many years. Tea is frequently firmly integrated in the curriculum and is an examination subject. Hartmann's lectures revolve not only around the tea plant and its cultivation, but take into special account the significance of tea as the ideal beverage to complement a healthy, well balanced diet. The audience includes a growing number of dieticians who take a professional interest in these particular aspects of tea.

Information to Public

The German Tea Council keeps in touch with numerous national and international organizations involved with tea, and so has at its disposal constant sources of tea news. Any information likely to interest members is investigated and disseminated in regular news letters, thus keeping them informed of significant events and developments, and at the same time, up to date on the Tea Council's ongoing activities.

Young people in particular continue to show a keen interest in tea, as was evidenced by a large number of enquiries from schoolchildren, students and teaching staff asking for for educational packs.
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Title Annotation:German Tea Council
Author:Nissle, Ronald
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Feb 1, 1992
Words:1592
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