Top Tea Brands in India

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Tata Tea is one of the top tea brands in India. However, there are other companies based out of the country that are performing well in the Indian market. The tea industry is one of the main avenues of earning foreign exchange for India and also contributes handsomely to the Gross National Product. India can presently be regarded as a global leader when it comes to production, export, and consumption of tea.

India accounts for almost 31 percent of the global production of tea. Tea is also the only domain where it has been globally prominent in the last century and a half. The tea industry in this south Asian country offers a wide range of products such as the original orthodox version, green tea, and CTC.

There are several areas where tea is grown in India. Tea is native to the northern and eastern parts of the country but the production has increased substantially now. The tea grown in Darjeeling is more flavored and aromatic compared to the tea cultivated in the Nilgiris and Assam, which is comparatively stronger.

There are two major ways in which tea is produced in India:
  • the orthodox method
  • the CTC method
CTC basically stands for crush, tear, and curl and the tea that is produced in this manner is used primarily in tea bags.

There are five main stages as far as orthodox production of tea is concerned:
  • Withering
  • Drying
  • Rolling
  • Storing
  • Fermentation

India Tea Industry Facts

The aggregate turnover of the tea industry in India has been estimated at INR 10 thousand crores. After independence the land used for growing tea has increased by 40 percent but tea cultivation has gone up by more than 250 percent. Export of tea has increased by a significant margin in the last couple of years.
The aggregate net foreign exchange earned by exporting tea has been estimated at INR 1847 crores. The Indian tea industry is a labor intensive one. Presently there are at least 1.1 million workers employed in various tea companies around the country. It also creates income opportunities for almost another 10 million people. The workforce is equally distributed when it comes to gender.

List of Top tea brands in India

Following are the leading tea brands in India:

Tata Tea

Tata Tea is a product of Tata Global Beverages Limited, which was set up during 1962 as a joint venture of James Finlay and Company, and Tata Sons. The company presently operates in all the continents of the world. Its other brands are:
  • Tetley
  • Vitax
  • Good Earth
  • Jemca
  • Eight O’ Clock Coffee
  • Tata Coffee
  • Himalayan Water
  • Joekels
  • Grand

Society Tea

Society Tea is a Hasmukhrai & Co product. The company was incorporated during 1933. The company offers a wide range of tea products that may be enumerated as below:
  • Leaf
  • Premium
  • Dust tea
  • Ice tea
  • Tea bags
  • Instant

Duncan’s Double Diamond Tea

Duncan’s Double Diamond Tea is a product of the Duncan Goenka Group that started as Playfair Duncan during 1859. At present the group has 20 functional companies and 40 thousand workers in all. It presently earns approximately INR 20 billion, which makes it one of the leading industrial groups in India.

The organization also operates in several other verticals like the following:
  • Power generation
  • Software
  • Agro based ventures
  • Biotechnology
  • Petrochemicals and chemicals
Apart from tea, the group also offers the following brands:
  • Runglee Rungliot
  • No. 1
  • Shakti
  • Sargam

Brooke Bond Red Label Tea

Brooke Bond Red Label Tea is a Hindustan Unilever (HUL) Product. HUL is one of the biggest names among the Indian companies that deal in fast moving consumer goods. The company has been operating for more than 75 years. Following are the different variations in this brand:
  • Red Label
  • Red Label Dust
  • Red Label Nature Care
  • Red Label Special

Taj Mahal Tea

Taj Mahal Tea is also a Hindustan Unilever product. Following are the various products available in this segment:
  • Taj Mahal Tea
  • Taj Lemon Flavored Tea Bags
  • Taj Ginger Flavored Tea Bags
  • Taj Cardamom Flavored Tea Bags

Wagh Bakri Tea Group

Wagh Bakri Tea Group is a product of the Wagh Bakri Tea House that was incorporated during 1892 in Ahmedabad by Sir Narandas Desai. Following are the various categories of products on offer, in addition to Wagh Bakri:
  • Instant Tea Premix
  • Good Morning
  • Organic Tea
  • Tea Bags
  • WB Perfect
  • Mili

Lipton Tea

Lipton Tea is a Lipton product. The company was named Thomas J Lipton Co at its inception during 1893. Its factory and head offices are at Hoboken in New Jersey. Now the company’s products are available in at least 150 countries across the world. Following are its major products:
  • Lipton Iced Tea
  • Lipton Green Tea
  • Lipton Fresh Brew Iced Teas
  • Lipton Tea & Honey
  • Lipton Iced Tea Mixes
  • Lipton Flavored Black Teas
  • Lipton Black Teas
  • Lipton Herbal Teas
  • Lipton White and Red Teas

Tetley Tea

Tetley Tea is one of the most preferred brands of tea in India and has some of the top organizations as its clients:
  • Taj Hotels
  • Wipro
  • Jet Airways
  • L'Oreal
  • Kingfisher Airlines
  • Leelavati Hospitals
  • Barista
  • Orchid Hotels
  • Radhakrishna Hospitality
  • Sky Gourmet Catering
  • Essar Group
It has been operating in India for 10 years. Its tea related products are available in 4 major varieties- black, flavored, green, and gift packs.

Marvel Tea

Marvel Tea is the first and one of the biggest packed teas among the branded teas that are available in northern India. The company, Marvel, was initiated during 1987 in Uklana. It is an ISO 9001:2000 certified company as well. Apart from Marvel Tea its other major brand is Maryada Tea.

Pataka Tea

Pataka Tea is the main product of the beverages division of the well known Pataka Group. Pataka Tea was set up during 2000 so that the group could venture into the business of packed tea. Following are its other major verticals:
  • Biri
  • Textiles
  • Food
  • Healthcare
Following are the other tea brands available in India:
  • McLeod Russel
  • Bagaria
  • Goodricke
  • Jay Shree Tea
  • Ambootia
  • Apeejay Tea

India tea industry present scenario

India along with Kenya and Sri Lanka is one of the major producers of tea in the world. If any local or climatic problem disturbs the tea production in these countries, then coupled with the price issues, there could be some serious concerns for the global tea industry.

Experts have already portrayed a grave scenario regarding the balance between tea production and consumption. There has been a serious decline in inventory as is evident from statistics.

India along with Kenya and Sri Lanka accounts for 60 to 62 percent of the global supply of black tea. However, India is the biggest consumer of black tea and exports 17 to 20 percent of the total production as opposed to Kenya and Sri Lanka who export 90 to 95 percent of the aggregate production because of the smaller markets.

It is possible that the tea export segment of India might face problems if inventory levels continue to fall, production is slow, and domestic usage goes up. Old bushes comprising 25 thousand hectares were replanted from 2006 to 2011 and these areas take up the maximum portion of the area that has been added for tea cultivation in the recent times.

A part of the tea, supposed to be used for exports, is being redirected for local consumers in India. In 2011, 192 million kilos were exported but in 2016 the figure is supposed to come down to 127 million kg.

It is expected that till 2017 tea production in India will increase at a compounded annual growth rate of 1.6 percent while for consumption in the same period the rate has been estimated at 1.8 percent.

However, this will not have any effect on the success of the tea companies as tea prices in India are equal with any other place in the world because of the overall quality of products available.

Top tea producing states in India

The leading states with regards to tea production in India may be enumerated as below:
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • West Bengal
  • Assam
  • Meghalaya
  • Kerala
Last Updated on May 1, 2015