Those of you who have been with Voće® Tea from the beginning know that we originally sold our teas in clear plastic gift boxes. We did this for a couple of reasons. First, we wanted people to see how our teas differed from our competitors’ products. We really do pride ourselves in the fact that there is nothing really like our teas available on the market, and transparent packaging seemed like the best way to do that. After all, we use beautiful organic whole fruit, and more than anything, we wanted to show it off!
Second, when we first started our company, we planned on cultivating a more robust retail presence. As you probably know, retail CPG packaging is an art unto itself, and many companies pour millions of dollars into fine-tuning the look and feel of their packaging. When products are in brick and mortar retail locations, they really need to stand out on the shelf. From this perspective, then, it made a certain amount of sense to have clear plastic packaging.
At the end of the day, however, we decided to focus most of our attention on developing our online business, rather than moving into retail in a big way. There were lots of issues that we considered, but the fact that our product is light and shelf stable was the deciding factor. It’s easy and affordable to ship directly to customers, which allows us to avoid the headaches of retail distribution. Once we came to this realization, it was no longer quite as important that our teas stand out on store shelves, and it wasn’t as crucial that the teas be in transparent packaging.
Like many of you, we were also increasingly alarmed about the unnecessary waste and destruction caused by single-use plastics. Our company was founded in an attempt to provide a healthier, more sustainable tea option for consumers. Polluting the world with even more plastic, even recyclable PET, seemed like a huge problem. Moreover, we had already spent a considerable amount of time and effort—and money!— into ensuring our tea bags and outer wrappers were plastic free, so it made sense to go the whole nine yards. The more we thought about it, the more we became convinced that going plastic free was the right thing to do, both from a business and an environmental perspective.
In order to facilitate this move, however, we first needed to redesign our package labeling. Even though we didn’t need a transparent box any longer, we still wanted to highlight the natural features of our teas. Consequently, we got rid of our original labels that included only text and replaced them with our current labels where the teas are pictured in all their natural glory. By placing this more attractive label on our 97% post-consumer waste recycled boxes, we are able to maintain a chic look that is also good for the environment.
In addition, we needed to redesign our website so customers who wanted to see our teas could do so quickly and conveniently. We also needed to slowly wean customers off the old packaging and get them to embrace the new look. Of course, we continue to encourage customers to purchase tea with no external packaging whenever that’s feasible, and the majority of you go this route.
In the end, we think we’ve been pretty successful. We now have a great looking product, inside and out. We know that some of you will miss the clear gift boxes, especially around the holidays, but we will try to make it up to you by offering $1 gift wrapping. Hopefully, that will give you the best of both worlds. Drink well!