Charlotte, NC: Coca-Cola and Nestlé's joint venture, Beverage Products Worldwide (BPW), which includes the Nestea label, is launching its first-ever upscale premium tea, Gold Peak.
The product will be launched on July 18 in New York and the Hamptons, with events in tier-two markets to follow. The effort is being handled by BPW's AOR, French West Vaughan.
Ray Crockett, director of communications, Coca-Cola North America, said the launch is significant because the tea category is growing rapidly.
"This is a category that has grown in importance," he said. "It's up 30% this year and it appeals to a growing number of consumers age 30 and older."
David Gwyn, EVP and GM at FWV, said the firm has worked with BPW for three years on the category of ready-to-drink teas.
"We've been studying the category and seeing where the opportunity was," he noted. "We have done a lot of grassroots research over the past years in the Northeast and Southeast. We feel positioning this product as upscale and premium, yet down home, is the right place to be."
The Gold Peak label will target sophisticated tea drinkers, said Gwyn, who added that efforts will commence with events in the New York area, including sponsorship of the Mercedes Benz Polo Challenge in Bridgehampton, NY. He added that the company will set up Gold Peak tents and feature a "host of the day" celebrity.
"We're talking to Julianne Moore and Cindy Crawford," Gwyn said. "Our objective is to position this out of the gate as an upscale, premium beverage. There's built-in media at the event, including entertainment lifestyle media."
The New York event will include media luncheons, business interviews, and desk-side briefings with Coke executives.
Other regional events are being held in cities such as Detroit, St. Louis, and Houston.