Kenyan seeks to grow taste for purple tea in the US

Kenya’s purple tea received a major boost last week after it debuted at a major US trade fair meant to increase sales of the beverage in the global market.

Kenya has recently become a major source of the tea variety and one of the few countries that grow it. But lack of awareness among potential consumers has kept sales growth in check.

Mr Martin Kabaki, a US-based Kenyan and the chief executive of Kenya Purple Tea, LLC is changing that with direct contracting of Kenyan growers and finding markets for the produce in the US.

“My goal is to move as much volumes of this new product as possible and I am open to working with other interested distributors to market this product,” said Mr Kibaki.

Kenya is currently diversifying from the traditional black tea into purple, which fetches higher prices and, therefore, has the potential to increase farmers’ earnings. 

A kilogramme of purple tea is sold at Sh1,957 compared to the average Sh280 that black fetches at the auction in Mombasa. 

Mr Kabaki got an invitation by ExpoWest, a fair that exhibits organic crops in the US, to launch the Kenyan purple tea at the invite-only Hot Products Pavilion because of its medicinal value.

The pavilion is one of the biggest attractions at the ExpoWest show where supermarket customers go to scout for new trends in the food and beverage segment.

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