BOSTON — Why did the Hain Celestial Group recently revive its 45-year-old tea brand? As the company’s top executive explains it, “Millennials are big tea users, and I think they looked at Celestial (Seasonings) maybe as their father’s Oldsmobile.”
Irwin Simon, founder, president and chief executive officer of the Lake Success, N.Y.-based company, said the brand’s consumers were primarily “aging baby boomers.”
“And one of the big things that we looked at, how we come back and change the packaging, make it more applicable to millennials, clean up the packaging but keep the brand equity,” Mr. Simon said during a Sept. 9 presentation at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference in Boston. “And you know what? It was a risk that we went back and did this change.”
This past August, the company unveiled redesigned packaging for Celestial Seasonings with a contemporary new logo. Similar to the original packaging, the cartons are biodegradable and recyclable, and the tea bags have no strings, staples or wrappers, which saves 3.5 million lbs of material from landfills each year, according to the company. None of the recipes were changed.
In addition to new packaging, Hain Celestial has expanded the brand into trendy new categories with the introduction of organic kombuchas, tea lattes and other ready-to-drink products. Available in bottles and aseptic cartons, Celestial Lattes varieties include dirty chai, matcha green tea, masala chai with espresso and cocoa, and masala chai with ginger, cardamom and cloves.
The Celestial Organics Kombucha line features such flavors as berry guava, coconut lime hibiscus and tropical green. There’s also a new pomegranate kombucha energy shot.
A new line of Celestial Organics Wellness Teas features organic herbs and botanicals with no added flavors. Each of the four varieties supports a specific benefit, such as digestion, immunity, detox and relaxation.
Hain Celestial also is introducing loose leaf tea blending kits. The products contain individually packaged whole-leaf teas, botanicals and flavorful additions like organic toasted rice and popcorn and organic cocoa nibs, which allow consumers to customize each cup. Varieties include chocolate orange black tea, hibiscus sangria herbal tea, and green tea with matcha.
Mr. Simon said the company has gained new distribution for Celestial Seasonings since the brand overhaul.“I always say, ‘When you’re green, you’re growing; when you’re ripe, you rot,’” Mr. Simon said. “And it’s important from an innovation standpoint.”