What to Know About Working With Contract Tea Manufacturers

No matter the time of day, tea is the answer. It brings people together, wakes people up in the morning and soothes a lonely heart. Plus, with more varieties than one could count, drinking tea will never get boring. No wonder tea is the second-most popular beverage (next to water) in the world.

If you love a good cuppa and thought to yourself, “I could start a tea brand!”, someone may have suggested you work with a contract tea manufacturer to bring your product to life.

1. What is a Contract Tea Manufacturer?

Launching a stellar tea brand starts out much like developing any other food or beverage product. You’ll need to work with a contract tea manufacturer (also known as a tea copacker) to figure out the logistics. These organizations laser-focus on sourcing tea and ingredients, have the machinery to produce and pack tea products, and only sell to brands for resale under private labels.

2. Why Should I Work With a Contract Tea Manufacturer?

Working with a tea copacker has a variety of benefits:

  • It streamlines production. Whether you sell your tea in a big-box store like Target or plan to launch an ecommerce site, doing everything by hand doesn’t make sense. Contract tea manufacturers have the equipment, engineering experience and ingredient suppliers to create your product efficiently and rapidly.
  • It saves costs. Working with a tea copacker not only saves you time, it saves you money. Since private label tea companies buy ingredients, packaging and even freight solutions at scale, they can offer you cheaper prices than if you were to self-source everything.
  • It helps you stay compliant. Like the rest of the food and beverage world, tea is subject to food safety and certification standards. That means you’ll need to track ingredient reports–certificates of analysis–to make sure you have test results on hand in the (rare) case you’ll need to recall a product. Luckily, contract tea manufacturers are experienced with food safety and should have all of this information.

3. How do I Make Custom Tea Blends?

That’s another area where contract tea manufacturers can come in handy. They usually have blending machines ready to evenly distribute ingredients throughout whatever concoction you’re selling. Many contract tea manufacturers actually have in-house tasting rooms where you can go discuss tea-blend characteristics, like flavor, preferred ingredients and tea bases (e.g. black tea, green tea, oolong). Before deciding on a tea copacker to partner with, make sure to ask if they have ingredients that might work for any tea blends you have in mind.

4. Where do I Find Custom Tea Bags?

There’s no question that tea bags are the norm when it comes to U.S. tea drinking. And today’s market boasts a whole array of options, from classic cotton dunkers to soilon (silk-like material made from starch) sachets. A reliable contract tea manufacturer should have machinery to pack your tea into tea bags for your brand. 

That being said, it’s important to keep in mind the leaf grade of whatever tea you’re bagging. More voluminous herbs, like chamomile, might not easily fit into a soilon sachet, so you might need to settle for a cut version or accept a lighter-weight dose in your tea bags.

Another advantage to sourcing your tea bags through a contract tea manufacturer is that they can usually source custom tea tags with your logo and branded overwraps. And some contract tea manufacturers can even close the loop by packing your tea bags in custom shelf-ready cartons.

5. How do I Find Contract Tea Manufacturers?

Finding the right contract tea manufacturer for your brand can be difficult. The obvious choice is to search Google, read reviews and try your luck. You could also reach out to any contacts you have who may know more about the tea manufacturing sector. Your best bet is to sign up for a copacking service like GhostLabel for free to find a verified contract tea manufacturer and manage your project. Not only does GhostLabel put your product request out for bid to get the best price, but you can use the platform to communicate with copackers and even make secure payments when it comes time to make your product.

Making your own private label tea company isn’t as difficult as you might think. Speak with our experts about how to take your tea product from a thought to reality.

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