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Tea Steps into the Spotlight

The U.S. tea industry may finally be seeing the fruits of its labor. Despite lagging or stagnant tea imports into the U.S, a tea conference and exhibition - the Take Me 2 Tea Expo - is holding its premiere show from March 16-18. The first and only free-standing North American trade show dedicated entirely to the tea industry, Take Me 2 Tea has been marketed towards a broad group of potential attendees. Organizers expect representatives from tea and coffee shops, specialty grocers, and health food stores, caterers, restaurants, spas, culinary schools and many more. The show will include a comprehensive symposium schedule that will help attendees increase profits, learn about industry trends and expand their knowledge of tea. The Tea Association of the USA is the official sponsor of the show, and Joe Simrany, association president, is looking forward to the launch of this much needed industry event.

Organizers George Jage, Steven Taylor, and Faith Taylor are all very excited about joining people together to produce a top quality event for the tea trade. The group has been circling the nation, intent on bringing all members of the industry to the popular venue of Las Vegas to help further the growth of this beverage.

Take Me 2 Tea will not only be a place for buying, selling, and education, but for tea media happenings as well. Authors of tea books and magazines will have a presence as exhibitors (including Tea & Coffee Trade Journal!). Pearl Dexter, editor and publisher of the consumer tea publication, Tea, a Magazine, will be one of the many speakers.

Take Me 2 Tea comes at a time when more and more food and beverage associations and shows are highlighting tea. The SCAA conference and tradeshow has attracted many tea companies as both exhibitors and speakers for many years now. At this year’s SCAA conference in Boston, the Specialty Tea Institute will hold its 6th Annual Tea Symposium on April 25-26. Coffee Fest, the retail-focused trade show, is billed as a “specialty coffee and gourmet tea” show, and has not only had a growing presence of tea-related exhibitors, but also holds informative tea seminars as part of their educational program. In fact, our own Tea & Coffee World Cup Exhibition & Symposium, coming to Rome this year, was the first show ever to highlight both a tea symposium and exhibition way back in 1993 (Wow. Was it that long ago?!)

Look around and see what’s showing up in the media: tea and health, tea and cosmetics, tea and well being, tea salon reviews. More publicity than ever is being generated over tea. We hear from many tea manufacturers who have recently entered he market and are doing well - Honest Tea, Mighty Leaf, Revolution Tea, Rishi Tea...the list goes on.

The average beverage consumer is getting more sophisticated. Now may be the time to pull out those tea marketing plans - or let everyone else pass you by.

Jane McCabe
Editor & Co-Publisher

Tea & Coffee - March/April, 2003

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