28 August 2011

The New Tea Party?

Earl  Grey is a tea that you either love or hate. Like Capin Jean Luc Picard I am one of those who likes "Tea, Earl Grey, hot" lbut I must admit that my favourite daily tea is Lady Grey.

That said I can fully sympathise with my Earl Grey drinking brothers and sisters who have risen in revolt against Twinings which has had the temerity to change the flavour of its Earl Grey product.

The rebellion was sparked when Twinings relaunched its Earl Grey.
The company was so confident it would triumph by adding "a dash of lemon and a touch more bergamot" . In the eyes of loyal drinkers this was a trvesty and they are not happy.

A Facebook page was launched, demanding: "Bring back the original Twinings Earl Grey tea." As anger and desperation mounted, one lady, 30 years an Earl Grey drinker, even went so far as to suggest: "I'd rather drink PG Tips." (My God that IS damning!)
Twinings is refusing to capitulate, standing by the new version of its 180-year old tea, named after Charles, the second Earl Grey, who was a leading architect of the 1832 Great Reform Act.
Claire Forster, a company spokeswoman, insisted that since relaunch "our sales results have been the best ever, the highest ever volume share of the Earl Grey market. It was traditionally thought of as the tea you had when you went round to your grandmother's," she said.
"Now a lot of young people are getting into Earl Grey. All products need to evolve to keep up with people's developing palates. We kept it true to the original Earl Grey, just made it a tiny bit more refreshing. But whenever you change something, you can never please everybody."

Earl Grey rebels are being mollified by an offer of a "ten day challenge": £10 to try the new tea for ten days and see if it grows on them. Alternatively complainants who refuse to take part in the challenge, they get a year's supply of the old Earl Grey.

This has not satisfied a legion of hard line Earl Grey drinkers who are planning to demonstrate their anger by pouring several tones of the new tea into Boston Docks - Lincolnshire not Massachusetts...


Bryan said...

I would suggest that the people at Twinings have a look at what happened to Coca Cola when it introduced New Coke, which is considered one of the worst marketing disasters in business history.

This is so brain-dead.

They should call the new product Lady Jane Grey, as its fate is probably just as bad.

Yes, there is a spike in purchases to see what the new product tastes like, then people decide it isn't what they want - Earl Grey.

[BTW, my Mother will be sending them a nasty letter.]

jams o donnell said...

It's a dumb idea indeed.. unless it is a ruse. If so then it is a crappy one!

I hope your mum gets her year's supply!

Anonymous said...

The same thing happened here when Kraft added cheese to vegemite

jams o donnell said...

Cheese and vegemite? I hope there were riots!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

A dash of lemon? How dare they?

People have been drawn and quartered for less.

jams o donnell said...

Damn straight!

Matthew Steeples said...

I hope this will provoke tea consumers into trying the offerings of smaller tea companies. This is a huge own goal on the part of Twinings. Check out my view at http://dasteepsspeaks.blogspot.com/2011/08/if-it-aint-broke-dont-fix-it.html

jams o donnell said...

I agree Matthew. There are many fine small merchants who provide excellent tea and excellent service