19 July 2023. Finlays, a leading global B2B beverage solutions supplier, has strengthened its capabilities in tea extraction after agreeing to purchase the tea and yerba mate extraction assets from Paraguayan food ingredients business Natural Instant Foods (‘NIF’).
Once the sale completes, Finlays will move the extraction assets to Kenya to serve as a small-scale production line and pilot plant at its Saosa tea extraction facility in Kericho. This will enhance Finlays’ R&D capabilities by allowing Saosa to offer sampling and small-batch capabilities, increasing its speed and agility to respond to requests from its global customer base.
Saosa is one of the world’s only tea extraction facilities located on a tea farm giving Finlays the unusual ability to extract from fresh leaf on the same day as harvesting. This means Finlays can create premium tea extracts that are rich in bioactive compounds, helping its customers tap into growing consumer demand for healthy, natural and sustainable beverages.
“Tea extracts are central to delivering the healthy, sustainable and differentiated natural beverages that global consumers are seeking”
Greg Stock, Group Director of Manufacturing and Engineering explains, “Saosa is the jewel in our tea extraction crown and we have been planning to install a pilot plant there for some time. The NIF equipment will give us the opportunity to install pilot plant and small-scale production capability at Saosa more quickly. This will allow us to respond with greater speed and agility to our global tea extract customers without disrupting supply from the factory.”
“Saosa is the jewel in our tea extraction crown”
Installation of the assets in Saosa is currently planned for 2024. Finlays is keen to serve the former customers of NIF with the same high quality products that they have been accustomed to, and will be reaching out to them in the coming weeks. The sale is not subject to any third-party consents and will close later this year.
Finlays is a global leader in the tea extracts category and it sees exciting, long-term growth opportunities for beverage brand owners in this area. James Woodrow, Finlays Group Managing Director says, “Powered by a thirst for innovation in the tea category, demand for tea extracts is going from strength to strength. Tea extracts are central to delivering the healthy, sustainable and differentiated natural beverages that global consumers are seeking, whether that’s an iced tea for the North American market, or a Boba tea for the Asian market.”
Finlays, part of Swire Group, is the leading independent B2B supplier of tea, coffee and botanical solutions to beverage brand owners worldwide. Founded in 1750, Finlays has been sourcing tea since 1817 and producing it since the 1870s. Today, with deep roots across the globe and unparalleled experience and expertise, no-one is better placed to unleash the potential of natural beverages by helping brand owners to bring the best from bush to cup.