Tata Tea restructures to challenge Coca-Cola

The Tata Tea group is set to integrate its global and domestic operations to take on international drinks companies such as the Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc.

The $1 billion (Rs4,740 crore) beverage group, part of the Tata group conglomerate, said it was putting its global and regional tea, coffee and water brands under a single management team.

Brands such as Tetley Tea, Tata Tea, Himalayan water and the Good Earth

Good Earth Tea is a Tata brand

speciality teas and coffees will be supported by its regional and speciality brands such as Eight O’Clock Coffee in the US, Vitax herbal tea in Poland, Jemca tea in the Czech Republic, and Indian brands such as Chakra Gold and Kanan Devan.

The company said its strategy is to diversify from Tata Tea group’s core categories of tea and coffee and build positions in high growth areas such as Himalayan, its natural mineral water brand, and T!ON, a drink made from fruit juice, tea extracts and ginseng, through product innovation and growth.

Tetley Tea is Tata's main UK brand

The group said it will focus on growing in the the Asia-Pacific region, Russia, the second biggest tea market, Africa and the US.

The resources come from the sale of the Tata Tea group’s 30% stake in US-based Energy Brands Inc. for $1.2 billion in May 2007.

The announcement comes just a day after the company revealed it had suffered a 56% fall in profits on the previous year.