FAIRFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bigelow Tea, America’s largest family-owned tea company, is celebrating its 70th anniversary, tracing its humble beginnings in a New York City townhouse, where Ruth Campbell Bigelow developed the iconic “Constant Comment”® tea, to a worldwide market of 1.7 billion tea bags annually.
“Our little tea company has enjoyed an illustrious past, introducing many ‘firsts’ to the tea industry and to the American consumer,” said third-generation CEO Cindi Bigelow. “These include “Constant Comment”, one of the country’s first zestfully flavored specialty teas, the Whiffing Jar that lured customers with the enticing aroma of tea, orange rind and sweet spice, and our signature, individually foil-wrapped tea bags that guarantee a fresh and flavorful tea experience.”
Ms. Bigelow often finds herself trying to balance an appreciation of 70 years of history and a family business culture that values “quality first” with the need to drive it forward. “From the high quality ingredients we source, to the special foil wrap we use to protect the finished tea, it is all about quality first for our customers,” says Ms. Bigelow.
Already the U.S. market leader of specialty teas with 24% market share, $150 million in sales and more than 130 varieties, strategic plans have been implemented to extend its “quality first” mission by increasing Bigelow Tea’s global presence in targeted countries where international tea consumers have already discovered the brand through placement on cruise ships and airlines.
“To maintain our family vision, we are thrilled to be directing our international expansion in an effort to reach new customers every day,” Ms. Bigelow says.
The privately held company employs 350 people in Connecticut, Idaho and Kentucky, and at its Charleston Tea Plantation, America’s 120-acre working tea plantation in South Carolina.
“While it’s fun to reflect on the past 70 years’ achievements, we look forward to realizing our vision for the future” she said. “There are many exciting new flavors on the horizon. This year we will be introducing a line of organic bottled iced teas with fresh brewed taste and polyphenols – made from real tea.”
To coincide with the 70th anniversary, Bigelow launched its Mobile Tea Bar, connecting with consumers and retailers across the country. The customized 1977 Airstream will offer freshly brewed samples of teas and share the Bigelow story through a mobile and interactive experience.