Monday, August 6, 2012

Lipton Tea Supermarket Display

I'm continuously interested in tea in American supermarkets, mainly because supermarkets are a place of the mainstream, and what is going on in mainstream supermarkets says a lot about the reach of tea culture in the U.S.

Pictured here is a supermarket display from the Supreme Shop n Bag store, part of Thriftway Shop n Bag stores, located on Walnut St. in Philadelphia, between 43rd and 44th streets:

This is a large, attention-getting display, out in the middle of the aisle. It's hard to miss. Yet I find it disappointed me; the display got my attention, but in the end, was rather boring.

Missed business opportunity? Why not highlight more products?

This display takes up a lot of space, yet it only includes a single product. Judging by how full the display is, the display does not seem to be doing a great job of encouraging people to buy tea.

Lipton tea, although it is known for its basic black tea, has diversified a lot lately, and now offers herbal blends, flavored teas, and higher-quality tea offered in pyramid sachets. You can visit the Lipton tea page on RateTea if you want to check what products Lipton carries, or read some reviews; I've personally reviewed 10 different offerings from Lipton. The company also sells loose-leaf tea. This display doesn't highlight any of these products!

I don't know if Lipton chose everything about this display, or if it was more up to the supermarket, but, regardless of who made the decision, I think Lipton is missing an opportunity to highlight the diversity of its products.

What do you think?

Do you think Lipton is missing an opportunity here? Or do you think people really just want a discount on their basic black tea? Or is Lipton tea off your radar entirely?


  1. I don't think it's a particularly good deal anyway. Harris tea is cheaper, and I like it better than Lipton.

    1. Yeah, Lipton is not the cheapest tea out there. And this is even more true when you compare it to loose-leaf. I can brew well over 200 cups of tea from a pound of Ahmad's loose-leaf tea, which is quite top-notch, in my opinion, and it's under $8!

  2. Missed opportunity indeed, Alex and actually quite ironic given that Thomas Lipton was THE man when it came to advertising and drawing people in with new and innovative marketing strategies. He'd probably turn over in his grave at the sight of this.

    1. I wonder how much the original founders of various companies that have grown into large, multinational corporations, would feel good about the various companies that grew out of their small enterprises.

      I know that, when I've owned businesses, I've always wanted them to grow, but I've also had a strong commitment that I would rather the business stay within the confines of my own value system, than grow into something that goes against my beliefs.

      Our society has changed so much even over the past few generations that I think it's hard to even grasp what it would mean to stay true to the visions of one of the original founders of a company. But sometimes I wonder if the founders of generations-old companies would like what their companies have grown into. I especially wonder this with very old companies like Twinings, which pre-date modern consumerism, yet are now solidly embedded in the whole system of consumerism, as a major brand.

  3. Excellent thoughts to ponder, Alex.