Zhejiang experience showcased at tea expo
Various tea products are displayed at the 4th China International Tea Expo in Hangzhou. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]
More than 60 countries and regions in the world are home to tea plantations, while people in over 160 countries and regions drink tea habitually. As the world's largest tea producing country, China accounts for 60 percent of the world's tea plantation area and 50 percent of global output.
Data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs show that an average Chinese person consumes as much as 1.7 kilograms of tea per year.
Tea enterprises in Zhejiang province have been striving to expand their presence in this huge, yet overly saturated market, with their innovative methods reflected in the 4th China International Tea Expo, which was held in the provincial capital of Hangzhou from May 21 to 25.
Many Zhejiang tea manufacturers showcased how advanced digital technologies have been widely used in farming, processing, quality management, marketing, and retail at their exhibition booths.
Several Zhejiang enterprises are accelerating their development of new-style tea drinks, which mix high-quality tea, fresh fruit, and milk, thereby catering to the tastes of younger consumers.
New-style tea drinks that mix high-quality tea, fruit, and milk are presented by Zhejiang enterprises at the 4th China International Tea Expo in Hangzhou. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]
Several other Zhejiang companies have discovered new business opportunities in tea-based derivative products, such as matcha ice-cream, snacks, and soaps.
These practices have been followed by tea exhibitors from other provinces. At a promotional event held by Guizhou Puanhong Group at the expo on May 22, Chairman Huang Shihong told Zhejiang media reporters that a tea variety by Zhejiang's Anji county, as well as Zhejiang's online retail modes for tea products have been spread across Puan county in Guizhou province, where the group is based. A total of 14 tea enterprises from Puan attended the tea expo, in hopes of finding Zhejiang partners in opening their online flagship stores.
An exhibitor from Enshi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture, Hubei province managed to sell over 1,000 tea-based lipsticks at the expo in a single day. According to the staff, the company has developed two kinds of lipsticks and one kind of toothpaste containing tea extract, with the technical support from the Hangzhou-based Tea Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
On the morning of May 22, a group of Enshi government officials who were attending the expo headed to the tea market in Lishui's Songyang county, Zhejiang province, aiming to learn from the local tea industry.
A head official from Enshi told Zhejiang media reporters that Enshi boasts a vast plantation area and high output for its tea industry, but is lacking in the ability to build brands and promote products.
"During our stay in Zhejiang for the tea expo, we not only hope to learn a lot at the exhibition, but also hope to be inspired by Zhejiang's tea plantations and markets," he said.