1m teabags an hour in Dubai

Bottles of Unilever shampoo are displayed at a supermarket in Beijing. (AFP)

Unilever, one of the world’s largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies revealed today that it will be expanding its state-of-the-art Lipton tea manufacturing facility, located in Jafza in Dubai, to meet the rising demand for tea in the region.

The Lipton tea factory in Jafza is Unilever’s second largest tea manufacturing plant in the world, producing an astonishing 1 million tea bags per hour, the company said in a statement today. This figure, the FMCG major said, excludes the other variants of tea such as loose tea that the factory produces.

Despite the turbulent economic and business conditions, Unilever said it continues to invest in Lipton, one of its biggest and globally renowned brands. The expansion will enable the Lipton Tea Factory to increase its production capacity of both black and green tea to cater to the rapidly growing consumer demand.

“The number of tea cups consumed annually in this part of the world is approximately 13.4 billion,” said Tim Drury, Vice-President Supply Chain, Unilever North Africa, Middle East and Central Africa. That makes the region one of the highest tea per capita consumption regions around the world.

Unilever said its tea category grew at a modest pace of over 5 per cent between 2004 and 2007, but that it is now showing “constant double-digit growth”.

“In the last five years, we have introduced Green tea, Chai Latte and lately the Pyramids tea bags which all received an overwhelming response from our consumers in the region. The non-black tea market segment fosters our confidence in growth in the years to come,” Drury added.

“The MENA region represents a vital market for tea manufacturers and we commend Unilever for their business foresight in further expanding their state-of-the-art tea manufacturing facility in Jafza, their second largest tea production facility in the world,” said Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi, Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer, Jafza.

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