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Twinings Brand Evolution | 0 Comments

How UK agency BrandOpus brought collectibility and enticed consumer demand with Limited Edition range of Floral teas.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the phenomenal success of the Florals range. The design was integral in the huge consumer demand for the collectability concept”

Claire Forster, Marketing Manager, Twinings

BRANDOPUS Twinings Brand Evolution

Project Summary

For over 300 years, Twinings has been successfully using its sourcing and blending expertise to create a wide range of high quality teas. Despite this, a significant proportion of their business is concentrated in just a few skus. When Twinings approached BrandOpus, they were looking for a way to awaken consumers to speciality black tea and trade shoppers up from ‘everyday’. The result was a limited edition range of floral teas that added £569,000 sales to the Twinings portfolio in 52 weeks since launch.

BRANDOPUS Twinings Brand EvolutionBrief

Twinings, although a well renowned brand is relatively small within the tea sector overall and was facing increased threat particularly from Unilever owned PG and Tata owned Tetleys. The speciality black tea category is worth £53m of which the lead subcategory is Earl Grey, accounting for 42% of sales. However, since the launch of Twinings Lady Grey in 2003 there had been little in the way of innovation to generate consumer interest and excitement.

Innovation was key to allowing differentiation and standout within the rather staid and traditional black tea market. Twinings identified that products with floral notes were the latest trend in food and drink, however they needed an ownable and valid way to position the concept within their portfolio and make it relevant to the brand, whilst capturing the imagination of the consumer to drive sales.

The brief was to create a limited edition range of 4 teas that would bring a fresh, modern perspective to the Twinings brand. Specifically, BrandOpus were tasked to:

• Drive trial of speciality black tea and capture the imagination of female consumers shift to perceptions from ‘funny tea’ to something that is relevant to them and that they are willing to pay more for

• Drive collectability with packaging design that is as highly desirable as it is new and exciting but is still instantly recognizable as Twinings

• Establish a platform for future new product development



BrandOpus understood that the key to Florals’ success would be creating a concept that was highly differentiated from the way that the Twinings brand normally talks about tea.

So, given that the target market demographic was primarily female, BrandOpus focussed on the idea of fashion and style. 

The idea was brought to life visually by the creation of four ladies, to distinguish between the personalities of the blends.

To keep the concept true to the world of fashion, BrandOpus. commissioned fashion illustrator Jerry Seguin to bring the ladies to life through a collection of elegant dresses. 

Depicted in a watercolour style, the illustrations transport the consumer to the idea of the blending and infusion of the different tea flavours. The ladies drive the visual impact of the pack design to create and achieve consumer intrigue, and enhance the collectability and desirability of the range. 

BrandOpus achieved all of this with a design that was still recognisably Twinings. By retaining the black background and with the Twinings logo featured prominently on pack, Florals are still clearly part of the Twinings brand and the success of the range reflects positively on the rest of the portfolio.

The result is range of four very distinct and sophisticated floral personalities: Rose Garden, Blossom Earl Grey, Jasmine Earl Grey and Lavender Earl Grey.

BRANDOPUS Twinings Brand Evolution


The project began in April 2009. The implementation of the four blends was a two-step project - the first being the original Limited Edition launch of Rose Garden and Orange Blossom Earl Grey, which launched on shelf in February 2010.

The success and popularity of these two variants was unprecedented, and led to a reevaluation of the original Limited Edition strategy for the rest of the range.

This concluded in the decision to launch the remaining two blends, Jasmine Earl Grey and Lavender Earl Grey, as originally planned, but as permanent SKUs as opposed to Limited Editions.

As the success continued, BrandOpus were briefed to create a fifth variant in the Florals range in time for Christmas. December 2010 saw the launch of a new blend: Winter Edition which built upon the range equities that had already been established, and with the introduction of a new illustration combined with festive cues.

BRANDOPUS Twinings Brand EvolutionSummary Of Results

Increases in Sales

The first year sales forecast for Florals was smashed by 157.5%, but the success of the range is not just a short term story: Year 2 is well on the way to sales of over double the original target.

The Florals range was so successful that within 16 months of launch 2 skus alone were exceeding the original 5 year sales prediction for the entire range. Overall, Rose Garden is the best selling of the entire Twinings portfolio in the Strand flagship Store.

Increase in Market Distribution

Since launch Florals have achieved 40% at grocery multiples, with listings across Tesco, Morrisons and Waitrose.

Increase in Portfolio Value

Florals 20’s are now the 3rd largest range within Twinings Earl Grey, whilst the range as a whole has added £569,000 to the Twinings Portfolio.  Florals also created a platform for a new tiering strategy that allows price increase across the Twinings portfolio.

Portfolio Expansion

The phenomenal success of Florals led to the unexpected launch of Mulled Spice, a 5th Christmas variant. Further to this, Florals became a permanent part of the Twinings portfolio in spring 2011 due to unanticipated levels of consumer demand.

The excitement invigorated into the speciality black tea category set the platform for further Twinings new product development such as the recent launch of Sunshine Grey.

BrandOpusTwinings Tea



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