SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - North AmericaEU edition | APAC edition

Trends > Fancy Food Show

Summer Fancy Food Show

Numi Organic Tea rides rising wave of turmeric’s & matcha’s popularity

By Elizabeth Crawford

05-Jul-2016
Last updated on 05-Jul-2016 at 00:23 GMT2016-07-05T00:23:37Z

Numi Organic Tea rides rising wave of turmeric’s & matcha’s popularity

Matcha and turmeric continue to rise in popularity as consumers and manufacturers embrace the ancient ingredients for their health benefits, unique flavor profiles and brilliant colors. 

Among the companies featuring the ingredients at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City was Numi Organic Tea, which is a leader in its category and took its own “twist” on the ingredients, according to company CEO and co-founder Ahmed Rahim.

He explained that the company’s new Golden Latte line of turmeric powders are based on traditional beverages commonly consumed in Asia, but that Numi spiced-up the drinks with chocolate, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to create a Turmeric Chai and Turmeric Cacao with “a really lush taste,” but the unique depth and golden color that can only come from turmeric.

To balance the calming turmeric drinks, Numi also showcased its Premium Matcha line, which Rahim also described as having a Numi twist.

“Matcha is a very traditional tea that has been drunk in Japan for quite a while,” and normally is made only with a whisk to froth the ground greed tea leaves, Rahim said. “But we have also taken our Numi twist. We have the ceremonial one, plus, we have added another one with more citrus notes of lemon grass and lemon myrtle and some lime,” which when frothed “makes a really yummy drink.”

While both lines can be made with just hot water, Rahim suggests using hot milk or a dairy substitute for more substance and “that latte, chai kind of taste.”

Inspiration combines ancient history with modern taste

The Golden latte Turmeric Cocoa and Turmeric Chai build on Numi’s line of four turmeric tea bags, which launched in the fall of 2014 and the company describes in marketing as “rich, cleansing, awakening flavors.”

Sales of the turmeric tea bags, which combine turmeric with ginger, pepper, rooibos and other spices “are doing so well that we wanted to continue to ride that turmeric wave,” Rahim said.

“Plus, we have a whole big project that we do with our farmers in Madagascar, [where] our production and volume has grown over ten times. We have a whole Fair Trade project and we have a water campaign called Together For H2ope,” he added.

The campaign aims to make clean, safe drinking water available to people in need, which includes one in every nine people on the planet – or nearly 800 million people, according to the company’s website.

Thanks in part to campaigns like Together For H2ope, Numi has deep relationships with its farmers, which Rahim says will help the company scale up its turmeric and matcha lines without fear of insufficient sourcing as the ingredients’ popularity continue to rise.

Still, Rahim says the company’s biggest challenge is the growing popularity of matcha, turmeric and the company’s products in general.

“Our demand is growing so fast for our products in the marketplace that it is really just setting clear expectations with our farmers so that they know what to produce, or if we have to grow like with our turmeric when we went from 300 organic farmers to more than 700 organic farmers in just one year,” he said. “It is really being able to forecast so we can get that in place ahead of time.”

Health benefits & energy drive demand for matcha & turmeric

The staggering growth that Numi is seeing with its turmeric line, and which it anticipates with its Matcha line, can be attributed in part to growing consumer awareness of the ingredients’ health benefits and consumer demand for energy, Rahim said.

“With turmeric, people are understanding – like with ginger – that it is good for health. And turmeric has gotten a lot of popularity as an anti-inflammatory,” he said, noting, “In the supplement world, turmeric has just exploded and is really some of the top sellers for a lot of the supplement companies as a pure turmeric form for ingesting.”

In the tea form, health practitioners in the US are just starting to talk about turmeric and its relation to ginger and health benefits, he added.

“Matcha has a little bit more than just health benefits. It is also the caffeine and the rush,” Rahim said. “It brings a lot of awake feeling, like caffeine, but not the coffee jitters.”

In addition, he says, consumers are drawn to the ceremonial aspects of whisking matcha.

“People are enjoying what are the rituals of tea,” he said.

The future of turmeric & matcha in the US

The popularity of turmeric and matcha will continue to rise in the US as more people try the ingredients in foods and prepared beverages, Rahim said.

He noted that turmeric already is showing up in products such as popcorn and functional drinks, which “is going to rise the tides for everyone and for us, at the end of the day, that is going back to our farmers and really supporting our supply chain.”

As for matcha, Rahim says it already has “pretty good household penetration,” but as it becomes more mainstream and is available in larger chains and club stores “the public is just going to learn that matcha is not just a trend. It is a real staple in their diet.”

Related products

Manufacturers navigate greenwashing allegations

Manufacturers walk tightrope between demand for natural products and greenwashing allegations

Today’s consumers want products that are natural, sustainable and environmentally friendly, but manufacturers hoping...

Crunchies targets Millennial moms with freeze-dried fruits

Crunchies targets Millennial moms as fruit & veggie snacking gathers pace

If freeze-dried fruit conjures up images of space food, or brightly colored soggy bits...

Annie's sales set to reach $400m in fiscal 2017

Annie’s president: ‘Over the last two years we’ve added four million new households each year’

While some commentators baulked at the $820m General Mills parted with to get its...

CPG accelerator SKU blends mentorship & networking to help startups succeed

CPG accelerator SKU blends mentorship & networking to help startups succeed

Starting and growing a company is hard – especially in the highly competitive food...

Three tips for selling internationally-inspired, authentic products to Americans from industry veteran

Three tips for selling internationally-inspired, authentic products to Americans from industry veteran

Americans may be becoming more adventurous in what they eat – seeking international flavors...

Hip Chick Farms expands its portfolio

Hip Chick Farms expands its portfolio of clean, simple poultry & other frozen foods

McDonalds, Panera and other high profile food service companies took notable steps last year...

Rising animal welfare concerns push farmers & manufacturers to rethink humane agriculture

Rising animal welfare concerns push farmers & manufacturers to rethink humane agriculture

As animal welfare concerns become increasingly mainstream, farmers and manufacturers, such as the natural...

Synbio ingredients have vast market penetration, new list shows

Synbio ingredients have vast market penetration, new list shows

Synthetic biology, or GMO 2.0 as some are calling it, has vastly more penetration...

Expo West feedback 'overwhelmingly positive' for banana brittle

Barnana CMO: 'We tested banana brittle for eight months before we took it to market'

Barnana carved out virgin territory in the healthy snacks segment with its chewy banana...

Kite Hill weighs into plant ‘milk’ debate at Expo West

Kite Hill weighs into plant ‘milk’ debate: ‘Do electric cars not get to call themselves cars because they don’t have a combustion engine?’

An electric vehicle uses a very different propulsion system to the internal combustion engine,...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Top marketing strategies for natural products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Clean label 2.0 and other top marketing strategies for natural products

When it comes to marketing products in the natural channel it seems like there...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The opportunity for medicinal mushrooms

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The rising opportunity for mushrooms in food and beverage

Growing awareness of the powerful health benefits of mushrooms as well as increasing demand...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Certified Transitional Organic

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Certified Transitional helps conventional farms make the switch to organic

Despite organic’s strong appeal with double-digit year-over-year growth since the early 1990s, and the...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Americans’ love affair with protein shows no signs of cooling in the coming years...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Paid influencers make big impact with small budget in hot sauce category

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Paid influencers make big impact with small budget in hot sauce category

From restaurants’ fixation with ghost peppers to the presence of sriracha on dining tables...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast Countering the impact of climate change on coffee

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Countering the impact of climate change on coffee

Every year more people wake up to coffee or use it to fuel them...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Separating fact from fiction with probiotics

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Separating fact from fiction when formulating with probiotics

Once restricted to a handful of products, such as yogurt, probiotics are enjoying unprecedented...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast:marketing potential of home shopping television

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The marketing potential of home shopping television

Home shopping television easily might be overshadowed by food and beverage companies’ growing interest...

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: How doing good can also be good for business

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: How doing good can also be good for business

In today’s highly competitive landscape, many food and beverage manufacturers try to set their...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Using food influencers to market products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: How to select and best use food influencers to market products

While Americans are becoming more adventurous in what they eat, they often still need...

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...