Madura Tea Estates has joined a select few companies to receive Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers Award for a third time, earning top ratings in the all-important categories of taste and overall satisfaction once again.
But while Madura has topped our ratings for the third year in succession, the company has a reputation for being first with innovative new ideas in the Australian tea industry, according to director Gary Davey.
We spoke to Mr Davey to discuss Madura’s continued success and the company’s plans for the future.
Q: Our survey shows that green tea and chai tea are very popular with young Australians, while older Aussies are favouring black tea or English breakfast options. What trends can you tell us about which you may have noticed in recent years? And can you tell us about any future trend predictions you might have?
A: Madura was the first to launch green tea into Australia some 30 years ago and we are continuously analysing the market to keep a finger on its pulse. The company prides itself very much on being at the forefront of trends and innovation. There is a strong swing occurring to specialty teas at present and we have seen the growth in this area increase at speed recently. The consumer is certainly appearing to be tired of buying poorer quality teas and wants a good cup of tea at a reasonable price. Madura is around 7c a cup and there isn’t much, if anything, out there that can give you the health benefits, as well as refresh the spirit, for 7c a cup and at the same time taste as good as Madura.
Q: Overall, the majority of our survey respondents told us they drink one or two cups of tea each day, with 15% drinking four or more cups. What are you own experiences of consumers drinking Madura tea?
A: In our latest data most respondents stated they drank three or more cups of tea a day and 83% stated they drank their tea with milk. This is probably leftover from our British heritage as the ratio is somewhat higher in the UK. Interestingly the number adding sugar to their tea has dropped from 72% to 43% in the past nine years.
Q: While taste is of the utmost importance to tea drinkers, our survey respondents also told us that getting value for money is important to them, as is the variety of options available from their favourite brand, and even packaging appeal. How much importance is put on packaging to attract new consumers?
A: As we are the smallest player in the category out of the traditional six majors, our packaging is extremely important. It is really the only avenue that we have to obtain the consumer’s eye and assist in their purchase decision. We have always manufactured what we believe is the best tasting tea in mainstream retail so we have had to convey this through colour and traditional style packaging. It’s not just what is on the outside though but what is inside that counts as well. We recognised some years ago that freshness was really important to consumers so we were the first in the world to pack our teas into barrier film to maintain the quality of the teas we pack. We go to great lengths to ensure the product released to market is as fresh as can be. It is of utmost importance that the consumer gets a great tasting cup of tea when they are at home or at work as it is here all of our effort can either make or break us.
Q: Can you tell us about any interesting future ideas planned for Madura, whether it’s a new product or change to an existing one?
A: We are always looking for ways to improve on what we have and at the same time keep an eye on market trends. There is a younger consumer trend towards tea at present and this is as a result of the numerous articles on the benefits of drinking tea. Madura has many firsts accredited to its name. First in Australia with green tea; first in Australia with Pyramid Bags; first in Australia with Bio-Degradable Pyramid Bags; first in the world with vacuum sealed leaf tea; first in the world with stay fresh packaging for tea bags; and first in the world with modulised packaging (i.e. in a 100 pack there are two completely sealed stay fresh 50 packs).