This product, highlighted in a special hanging display clipped in front of the shelves in the aisle with the tea, is Primula's Tea Bag Buddy. In this post, I am not going to comment at all on this product itself, as it is one that I have little interest in as a loose tea enthusiast. Rather, I'm going to propose an alternative of a product that could be sold in a similar location in supermarkets.
Selling tea infusers and loose-leaf tea in a supermarket?
I find the product placement of the tea bag buddy in the aisle with the tea to be interesting, as it shows that people are already selling tea accessories alongside the tea itself. This is important because it highlights a method that could be used to enable supermarkets to sell loose-leaf tea to an audience of tea bag drinkers, not accustomed to drinking loose tea.
Instead of the tea bag buddy or a similar product, the store could sell tea infusers, in the same location, clipped to a prominent hanging display. If I were running a store, I would choose to carry Finum Permanent Tea Filters. I would price them at cost, with the idea that the item was included only for convenience, not profit, and the product would encourage shoppers to purchase loose-leaf tea.
Then, I would carry a modest selection of loose-leaf tea. I would draw attention to the price-per-cup and number of cups in the loose tea, because people unaccustomed to preparing tea from loose leaf tend not to have a good sense of these things. It would make the product more accessible and appealing. Here is a marketing idea:
I chose Twinings as an example of a tea to show, because I have found Twinings to be the loose tea most frequently available in supermarkets in the U.S., and in many cases, the only loose-leaf tea avaliable.
Of course, Twinings or other tea companies could probably come up with much more attractive-looking specials. Even if the tea companies selling loose tea do not change anything about their packaging to draw attention to the number of cups of tea in the container, or the cost-per-cup, the supermarket or store selling the tea can do this themselves, perhaps in a special display, label, or sign. Most supermarkets already place a price-per-count on the price tag for various products. The label shown here is for Bigelow tea bags, and shows a unit price per 100 count:
Such labels would immediately show the clear lower price per cup of loose-leaf tea. With the extremely generous serving of 2.5 grams per cup (much more than most tea bags), Twinings loose-leaf tea, which usually sells for around $4 for the container shown above, would be much cheaper than all but the most bargain-priced teas. And there are numerous brands selling lower-priced loose-leaf tea as well.
What do you think?
Do you think that a display highlighting a small selection of loose-leaf tea, with a few low-priced, high-quality tea infusers clipped to hang prominently in the aisle in front of them, would get people's attention and draw some new people in to switch to loose-leaf tea? Do you think this sort of setup could be financially viable, or even possibly lucrative, for a supermarket?