Unilever acquires herbal tea company, Pukka Herbs

Unilever

Foods and personal care product maker, Unilever, has acquired the organic herbal tea business, Pukka Herbs Ltd.

Pukka Herbs Ltd was founded in 2001 by Tim Westwell and Sebastian Pole. With a proposition of using organic and ethically sourced ingredients, Pukka’s health and wellness philosophy centres around benefitting people, plants and planet.

Unilever has not disclosed the details of the deal.

According to Unilever, the company has a turnover of over £30m and growth of around 30%. It is also growing rapidly across Europe and the US. According to Euromonitor 2016, Pukka is the fastest growing organic tea company in the world. The herbal, fruit and green tea market is currently worth €1.6bn* which trends suggest will become even more prominent globally in the future.

Unilever’s Refreshment Category President, Kevin Havelock, said: “Pukka has strong values and a clear purpose that aligns fully with our own sustainable growth model. There’s a clear strategic, philosophical and cultural fit for us.”

“Both of us believe in business being a force for good in society. Tim and Sebastian have cultivated Pukka into a successful business without compromising their ingredients or their ideals. The acquisition strengthens our tea business, addressing a gap in our portfolio. Pukka is a premium player in the natural, organic, health and wellness segment which is fast-growing, attractive and scalable. We look forward to bringing Pukka to even more consumers.”

Tim Westwell, Pukka co-founder and CEO said: “From day one, our mission was to connect more people with the incredible power of plants and herbs. Sixteen years later, with 1.5 billion Pukka teas enjoyed, we’ve made huge progress – and it’s just the beginning.”

Sebastian Pole, Pukka co-founder and Master Herbsmith said: “Choosing Unilever came down to two fundamentals: scale and sustainability. It is a leader in social and environmental change and it wholeheartedly embraces Pukka’s beliefs. So, there’s a meeting of values. Pukka will remain 100% organic and a champion for fair trading through pioneering schemes like Fair for Life, and continue to donate 1% of its sales to global environmental charities. With Unilever, we have new levels of reach and opportunity.”

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