world tea media, world tea expo, healthy beverage expo, george jage, kim jage
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THE TEA HOUSE TIMES INTERVIEW WITH WORLD TEA MEDIA
APRIL, 2013


World Tea Media is an integrated media company dedicated to providing business solutions to the global tea industry. Events include: the annual World Tea Expo; the new Healthy Beverage Expo, co-located with World Tea Expo; and World Tea East, the regional event for the northeast, mid-Atlantic and southeast United States. World Tea Media also produces the North American Tea Championship and World Tea News.

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GAIL GASTELU, THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Hello everyone! This is Gail Gastelu, Publisher of The Tea House Times and I'm here today with George and Kim Jage. George is founder and director of World Tea Media and Kim is Sales and Marketing Director of World Tea Media, …producers of World Tea Expo, World Tea East, and the new Healthy Beverage Expo.  Welcome, Kim and George!

GEORGE & KIM JAGE, WORLD TEA MEDIA: Thank you, Gail, it is a pleasure to be here with you.

GAIL:  The Tea House Times has worked closely with World Tea Media over the past ten years to assist with marketing objectives, information sharing and other collaborations beneficial to the tea industry.  Kim/George, I must say that each event produced by World Tea Media exceeds the one before.  Every time I publish a post-show report about World Tea Expo or World Tea East, it gets longer and longer and more impressive since the shows are constantly growing and offering new and interesting education and special events as well. While we have already announced the addition of Healthy Beverage Expo in our news feed at The Tea House Times website, I think it is a great addition to be co-locating with World Tea Expo and it is the first thing we should discuss today. I understand this was your brainchild, Kim, and I was actually wondering when World Tea Media would go on to produce an additional show of any kind, but this is very complementary to tea as a healthy beverage and so fitting.  Please share with us your vision for adding Healthy Beverage Expo.

KIM: The tea industry is ever-evolving and over the years we’ve noticed that attendees aren’t just tea specific buyers anymore. We now have more general beverage buyers attend the show. As a result, we wanted to offer them a range of beverage options but I couldn’t see diluting tea and I didn’t want to add coffee. So back in April of last year, George and I were on a road trip talking this through when it suddenly occurred to me to create a Healthy Beverage Expo along side WTE. I thought healthy beverages compliment tea without overpowering it and if we create the show outside of World Tea but also co-located, true tea buyers can attend and not bother with the HBE side while our general beverage buyers are better served. We hope to elevate the healthy segment of the beverage industry the same way we gave tea its own stage and at the same time introduce quality tea to those that may never have tasted it.

GEORGE: "Consumers are demanding healthy beverages in the marketplace, and retail sales of these drinks – whether nutritional, functional or enhanced – are climbing,"  "In fact, the North American healthy beverage market is just as healthy as the drinks themselves, and there's no sign of this segment slowing down. Fortunately, Healthy Beverage Expo delegates can learn how to make the most of this segment. We'll focus on product innovation, cutting-edge ideas, sales strategies, trends and new distribution channels – all the various ways these healthy beverages can take on the world."

GAIL: Who is the intended audience for Healthy Beverage Expo?

KIM: Independent retailers, large mass merchants, distributors food service professionals, health practitioners, dietitians, and scientists.  Many of the audience members of Healthy Beverage Expo can serve the tea industry. As a matter of fact, because of Healthy Beverage Expo, we can introduce tea suppliers to some of the larger distributors and retail dietitians that would not have attended WTE as a stand-alone show.

GAIL: Will Healthy Beverage Expo have its own educational conference program? 

KIM: Yes, educational sessions cover such topics as health and wellness, marketing to consumers, developments with ingredients, drink additives, up-and-coming trends, what a healthy drink really is and other significant topics.

Buyers will be able to preview and compare an extensive range of beverages, explore newly launched products, source vendors, participate in exclusive taste-test competitions, hear from top imbibe experts, establish key relationships and evaluate opportunities to capitalize on this fast-growing segment.

GAIL: The event takes place June 7 - 9, 2013 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nev., and is scheduled to be co-located with the 11th annual World Tea Expo. Can attendees of Healthy Beverage Expo attend World Tea Expo and vice versa? What about educational sessions? How is registration being handled if an attendee would like to take part in education at both shows?

KIM: As tea is the second healthiest beverage in the world next to water, Healthy Beverage Expo is ideally co-located with World Tea Expo. Both events take place June 7 - 9, 2013.  Attendees who register for either show will have access to both show floors and conference programs. Attendees can choose to partake in both shows or simply focus on one.  Registration details are available at www.HealthyBeverageExpo.com and www.WorldTeaExpo.com or by calling our office at 702-253-1893.

GAIL: This is all great. Let’s chat about World Tea Expo now. World Tea Expo is gearing up to showcase the very best leaf teas, blends, ready-to-drink teas, pots and other tea-related products from the global marketplace, including the winners of the 2013 Best New Product Awards. What’s new or different this year?

KIM: We have nearly 40 new exhibitors showcasing brand new tea and accessories. We also have many new launches at the show this year – products that have never seen the market but are being unveiled at World Tea. Bkon, is an example. They have a new brewer that claims to steep any loose tea perfectly in 90 seconds. The new technology --- on the same playing field as an espresso machine in the coffee industry --- allows every loose-leaf tea varietal to be delivered to consumers in a consistent manner with unmatched cup quality. We also have brand new cold-brew loose teas, new tea ware and more. It’s an exciting time to be in the tea industry as innovation is thriving and there is so much to see.  Attendees can sip and savor the newest and freshest teas from across the globe.  As always, they can evaluate retail items from unique tea ware manufacturers, delicious baked-goods suppliers, innovative tea product makers and specialized accessory and gift dealers. The 2013 Best New Product Award winners include TeaPops by DeeBee’s Organic Frozen Treats (Tea as an Ingredient Winner), Teas’ Tea Lattes by Ito En (Open Class Winner), Hario Filter-in Bottle by Sungarden Tea for Hario (Tea Ware Category Winner), Bamboo Tea Scoop and Strainer by tryeh (Tea Accessory Winner), Custom Point-of-Purchase Display Rack for Mighty Leaf Tea by Planet Canit (Packaging Winner).

GAIL: Please share a few highlights of the 2013 World Tea Expo.

KIM:  Highlights of the annual World Tea Expo include: the 2013 World Tea Expo Best New Product Awards;; the North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle; the Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony; the New Business Boot Camp; a World Origin Tasting Tour; Core Conference Seminars; Executive & Technical Content; as well as Focused Tastings and hands-on Skill Building Workshops.

As the most comprehensive educational event in tea, World Tea Expo features more than 30 conference sessions The entire curriculum covers the latest industry developments, answers current business challenges, and provides real "take-away" solutions for professionals.

GEORGE: "Tea is on fire with consumers and World Tea Expo is 'the big bang' that keeps fueling businesses, helping them profit and grow from tea," We're seeing more and more successful products on the shelf and online; the industry further focusing on quality; additional retail establishments springing up; and consumers learning about tea, enjoying its health benefits and appreciating its variations, complexities and cultural distinctions."

KIM: "Tea is more than 5,000 years old but it's still new for many, evolving and winning-over new customers in the market. The industry is creating fresh trends, reaching multi-generational audiences and experimenting with infusions, blends and tea types. World Tea Expo showcases these innovations and 'what's next' in tea, teaching the industry how to capitalize on all the unique opportunities - through in-depth training sessions, industry experts and a dynamic exhibit floor that gathers the global industry. Together, we're contributing to tea's rise."

GAIL: Thank you both for taking time out of your busy day to discuss the new Healthy Beverage Expo and upcoming – 11th Annual – World Tea Expo.  I encourage all related businesses to exhibit or register to attend and take part in all of the exceptional educational sessions, special events and opportunities for networking.  I look forward to seeing you again in June!

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