Saturday, August 13, 2011

Harrisons Malayalam Launches its New Tea Mark – ‘Moongalaar Gold’



Kochi: The Kochi-based RPG-enterprise Harrisons Malayalam Ltd. (HML) has launched “Moongalaar Gold”, a new tea mark in the local domestic auction market. The new brand is named after the famed Moongalaar Estate where it is manufactured at, in the Peermede–Kumli region of Iduki District. The agro-climatic conditions of this region produce some of the finest teas in South India which are known for its brighter cup colour and strength.  The company boasts of own captive gardens of over 3600 acres in this area and is now going to dedicate this primarily for producing high quality CTC dust teas. From these vast, own plantations, HML would be able to maintain the consistent quality and quantity of teas which are to be auctioned in Cochin and Coimbatore,

The launching of the new brand coincides with Harrisons Malayalam’s recently completed modernization and expansion of their Moongalaar factory. The company had made huge investments in a new fermentation system and high capacity driers in order to make teas that are among the very best and suited specifically for the Kerala palate. Throughout these years, Kerala tea consumer has become very selective and quality conscious with the willingness to pay extra for better quality. This has been reflected in the steady higher prices fetched by the better marks available for sale. The company strongly believes that Moongalaar Gold will position itself as preferred mark in this category of teas.

The company produces close to 20 million kilograms of tea out of which 50% are earmarked for exports. HML is the largest producer of Orthodox teas in India which is almost entirely consumed abroad. Hitherto, the company was focusing of developing this international market and has been exporting to more than 20 countries. However, from this year onwards, the company has decided to cater to the domestic markets as well. While HML will continue to develop their export market, special efforts are being made to develop products that are best suited for the domestic market too.

It’s CTC dust teas that are preferred in South India, especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. More specifically, the Kerala consumer is very quality conscious and is willing to pay much higher prices in line with quality. This is evident from the recent price realizations in the Cochin tea auctions conducted by the Tea Board of India. Best quality dust teas sell in the Rs.100 + range while the poorer quality teas sell at half the price. Poor quality teas are sold sometimes at below Rs. 50 level especially in the high cropping months of May and June. This is the reason why HML has decided on producing CTC teas that are among the very best in the market. CTC leaf grade teas are mainly consumed in the Northern states with a large proportion being exported to Pakistan and Middle East countries.

HML enjoys the unique advantage of having large tea growing areas in different agro-climatic zones and each has got its own unique characteristics. In the Peermede region, HML has over 3600 acres of tea. These teas are particularly known for bright golden liquors, strength and pleasant taste. Besides this, HML also has over 3300 acres in the High Range–Munnar region. Teas from this region are known for their high elevation characteristics of aroma in the liquor and bright red colour.  In the Wynaad and Nilgiri-Wynaad regions, the company has close to 8000 acres of tea plantations. The specialty of this region is the body of the liquor which is strong and makes more cups per unit quantity of tea powder. Because of these combinations of advantages, HML is in a position to exploit markets of different hues and preferences. This is coupled with the fact that HML has 150 years of experience in the field and experienced personnel in their factories.
HML is also in the process of upgrading another of its factories and launch another premium quality mark “Surya” in the next couple of weeks. They have planned a series on buyer meetings in different parts of Kerala to interact and receive feedback on their new initiatives. With this, HML believes that they would be as close to the consumer as possible to be able to deliver the products of their choices.     

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