Let other companies battle out the American marketplace with their single-cup, pour-over and filtered coffee makers. Japan's Takeya Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. is using tea to open doors for itself.
Takeya launched its Flash Chill Tea Maker, iced tea collection and accessories during the International Home + Housewares Show, held March 10-13 in Chicago. The company, with global headquarters in Osaka and U.S. operations in Huntington Beach, Calif., has been expanding its household brand for the past five years, developing products in the U.S. and Japan for global sales, said John Lown, CEO of Takeya USA Corp.
After first introducing itself with glasses using PET and its own proprietary AcraGlass BPA-free resin, the company has expanded into a complete product line, ready to sell consumers everything from tea infusers to pitchers and glasses for iced tea, and even the tea itself.
Tea is becoming a more popular drink in the U.S. — especially iced tea. Takeya notes that researchers have seen a 31 percent growth in tea consumption in the country between 2006 and 2011. Takeya believes it can tap into that interest by promoting a better and cheaper alternative to consumers' purchase of pre-made, bottled iced teas.
The Flash Chill pitcher, made of AcraGlass, includes an infuser that can brew either Takeya's tea blends or other loose or bagged teas. Add ice to steeped tea, then add the polypropylene cover with its airtight seal and shake it to mix up a cold brew quickly, the company says.
The Flash Chill also is compatible with the company's PP fruit infuser and a juicer attachment to fresh squeeze lemons into the tea.
The housewares line is a different approach for Takeya, which is more known for its status as a molder and supplier to various industries in Japan, said Lown, who is the former CEO of Snapware Corp.