<p>Tea major Goodricke is planning to enter the retail segment with its iced tea product and is in talks with some companies for distributorship of the same in India.
“We are selling our product now in bulk. We are planning to enter the retail iced tea market. We will shortly launch sachets of iced-tea powder through our own distribution network” A N Singh, managing director and CEO, Goodricke, said on the sidelines of the company's annula general meeting.
It plans to enter the market both with powder and ready-to-drink bottled beverage as it plans to tie up with some companies for distributorship.“We are looking for distribution partner. We are in talks with three companies for distributorship.” he said.
The company wants to launch the product under Goodricke brand. But it is facing problems to find partners as most of the companies want Goodricke only to supply the product.
“Everybody wants us to be a supplier for them rather than joint ventureship. But we will sell the product under Goodricke brand only,” he said adding, “We are almost ready with the product. As soon as we find the distributor we will be in the market.”
Goodricke is in touch with a Japanese company which has showed interest for pre-mix and bottling, Singh said.
He also said that the new wage agreement for Dooars would be finalised after the state assembly election. But he noted that the hike would not possibly be like that of Darjeeling where wage has been increased by Rs 23 to Rs 90 per day.
“The wage hike for Darjeeling is not possible for Dooars and otherwise half of the gardens would be closed. However, the wage will be finalised after assembly election,” he said.
Speaking on the Goodricke's future plan, he said, the group which has got 17 tea gardens in India under its portfolio, would prefer to get a tea garden in Assam if the company goes for some acquisition.
“We have no immediate plan of acquisition, but if we go for some then that will be in Assam,” he said.
The group currently owns two gardens in Assam.Goodricke to enter into retail iced tea market
The company is expecting about 5 per cent rise in production this year which was around 20 million kgs in 2010, he said.