The Online Beverage Revolution

September 17, 2012, 10:30 am Mat Beeche Yahoo!7

The story of an ex financial shark that saw the light and started tinkering with tea...

From Financial Shark to Speciality Tea Master
Don’t be fooled by the bubbly demeanour and laid back approach to life, Anne MacWilliam is no hipster starting up another tea company.

She is an ex financial shark used to a cut throat wheeling and dealing environment who has emerged from the rat race of George Street and has seen the light.

Her brand Blossom Blends, although very new, has turned into an online beverage sensation. With a growing social media following and pumping out between 50-60 orders per day, MacWilliam is beginning to work on the next stage of her business increasing her range and expanding her reach across Australia.

“I was working as an investment banker on the trading floor” says MacWilliam, “I was one of the only women doing what I was doing and I loved my job, and then I got sick from exhaustion, the doctor told me to rest – I was like No I can’t rest!

“He then suggested that I might want to go to a naturopath and that is when I started to really get into understanding herb-ology”

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As a child this tea-preneur had fond memories of visiting her Grandmother’s farm and sitting down to tea.

“I remember it so clearly, the different blends, the floral tea sets, it has been the major influence on how I took our product to market. Nana Mac was very serious about her tea.”

All the recipes for her current range are from “Nana Mac’s” originals, and it is clear in the Blossom Blend branding that the girly country comfort theme is a major strategy for the market they are targeting.

“I did a lot of research into the tea industry before launching this brand to identify the gaps, the niches and the products being used currently by other tea companies.

“My aim was to create an experience, from the moment they order online to the moment they receive the product it has to be consistent and on message.”

When it comes to the food and beverage industry, traditionally reserved for cafes, supermarkets and other bricks and mortar stores, online is becoming an extremely cost effective way to be able to enter the market on a low budget.

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Already we are seeing such items as deli products, speciality beverages and food items dissing the distribution and instead opting for the cult following and higher margin business.

This is a trend that will continue to grow over the next 24 months and already we are seeing online food aggregator sites such as Food Guru starting to bring all these cult food and beverage brands together under one roof allowing the customer to have one point of contact and a single purchase for all their favourite items.

Are you ordering your food and drinks online? Or do you still prefer to visit a supermarket...

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