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SOURCE QTrade Teas & Herbs
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A 35-year tea industry veteran, Kingsley Alagaratnam says beverage companies that move immediately and reposition their product portfolios to embrace tea will capture market share during a period of massive growth. Alagaratnam, who led North American leaf tea sales at Finlay Tea Solutions, is the new senior vice president at QTrade Teas & Herbs. QTrade, the largest supplier of organic teas in North America, serves major tea brands, retailers, coffee roasters, foodservice and bottled drink brands.
"The North American specialty tea market is growing at a rapid pace, and the innovative beverage companies that move early and effectively with tea will increase market share," says Alagaratnam, who joined the QTrade executive team Oct. 1.
"Multinational beverage brands are further realizing the big profit potential in the tea segment-and they are willing to invest," explains Alagaratnam. "These brands see a strong future in tea with specialty tea as the fastest growing segment, rising at an estimated 8 to 10 percent annually. The key is to act quickly."
According to Alagaratnam, tea investments, mergers and acquisitions fueling tea retail during the past 18 months reached an unprecedented $1 billion. Thus, in his new role at QTrade, Alagaratnam will support the dramatic growth as the company continues to offer the beverage industry the required scale, stability and quality controls that are in use by the largest manufacturers today. QTrade's new state-of-the art facility blends up to 40,000 pounds of tea a day, packs 100,000+ iced tea bags and inventories more than two million pounds of teas and herbs.
"QTrade continues to expand its investment in expertise and manufacturing infrastructure to meet the needs of the global specialty tea industry," notes founder/CEO Manik Jayakumar. "We are excited that Kingsley will help us continue to link the craft and innovation that is central to the growing specialty tea experience."
In addition to his work at the Toronto, Ontario division of Finlays, one of the largest global tea traders, Alagaratnam built a long and distinguished career with Unilever, a leading global supplier of food, home and personal care products.
For an interview with Alagaratnam, see http://youtu.be/OtFuuBPiJWo.
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