The Co-operative Food is giving its iconic 99 Tea a fabulous new “retro” look.
Seeking inspiration from the packaging design of the original 99 Tea, which is over 100 years old, the retailer is combining a vintage look with a floral motif to give the product a re-design, on shelf this month.
In its early days as the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS), The Co-operative invented supermarket own-labels at the turn of the 20th century, but of the early
Co-op brand names, only 99 Tea survives.
CWS began to blend its own teas in Leman Street, East London, in 1897.
Many different teas were developed including Prescription Tea, with reputed medicinal qualities to aid digestion – no 99 was the number on the blender’s chart.
When the term prescription could no longer be used in the name, 99 was adopted instead.
Such was the popularity of tea at this time, many tried to capitalise by doing anything they could to make a bigger profit, such as selling at gross weight, including packaging.
True to the values of the Rochdale Pioneers, who first set up shop in 1844, The Co-operative only ever sold its tea by net weight, helping make tea affordable for all.
Nowadays, The Co-operative’s 99 blend comes from tea grown in Malawi, Kenya and parts of India and East Africa and it’s all Fairtrade.
Currently, The Co-operative is going beyond Fairtrade to assist producers through its own programme of development projects, aimed at tackling global poverty.