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Teapigs launches ‘name and shame'campaign to improve tea offer

30 July 2009 by
Teapigs launches ‘name and shame'campaign to improve tea offer

Another deliberately-challenging piece of promotional activity has come from Teapigs, the unconventional supplier of speciality tea to cafés, restaurants, and delis.

The company wants 2009 to be a ‘year of great tea', and has ‘pledged to lead from the front, on a mission which is nothing short of changing Britain one cup at a time'.

The latest step in their ‘mission' is an online ‘name and shame' project in which customers can report cafés which have served them unacceptable tea.

Over 150 consumers have already signed up to a ‘demand for real tea' petition, receiving a pack of Teapigs breakfast tea in return, and several dozen have already named venues which they believe to be serving poor tea.

"We have a mass of very positive endorsements for the desire to see better quality tea made available," Teapigs' Nick Kilby told us. "The ‘name and shame' has produced the names of both independent caterers and big chains.

"We generally get a high degree of apathy from certain big names, whose classic response is ‘we know we ought to do something about our tea, but it's not high on our list of priorities.

Teapigs does not necessarily want to stand alone in its campaign.

"We are also very open for other brands that are selling 'real tea' to join us and be part of this in the long term, because the objective is to shake up the category and improve quality.

"And we'll get there one day."

Whether Teapigs will make known the cafés which have been named by consumers is not yet known - members of the coffee trade will recall the Coffee Police scheme of five years ago, in which consumers were invited to report, online, cafés in which they were served coffee which they thought below standard.

The coffee roaster behind the scheme used the complaints as leads for their own sales force, but their visits were not always welcome - on one occasion, the managing director told Coffee House magazine, he and his sales team were physically chased off the premises!

By Ian Boughton

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