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Archive: Product Collection


Can the future of loose tea be found in a bag?

Conventional wisdom holds that loose tea is expensive, messy, and far superior to anything that can be found in a bag. Bagged teas, by comparison, are cheap, convenient and filled with nothing but the dust and fannings swept up after processing “real” tea. What if conventional wisdom is wrong? What if these commonly held beliefs are standing in the way of the growth of specialty tea in America? more >

Profitability strategies Part 2: Pricing

Profits, at their most basic level, are a sign that we are successfully serving our customers. I don't know the exact recipe yet, but I do know some of the ingredients that we believe will make incremental improvements to our profitability. For this second installment I'll analyze Adagio's pricing strategy and how it impacts our profitability. more >

Profitability strategies Part 1: Package size

Profits, at their most basic level, are a sign that we are successfully serving our customers. I don't know the exact recipe yet, but I do know some of the ingredients that we believe will make incremental improvements to our profitability. In Part 1 of this series I'll cover our planned changes to package size. more >

Getting Started: Packaging Strategy

There is A LOT of money to be made in tea, but if it were easy to find the perfect path, everyone would be doing it. Packaging Strategy is the first installment in a series of articles on how to get started in the business on a shoestring budget. more >


Music has a considerable impact on the ambiance of a store. It affects the mood of the staff and the customers. The right music becomes an inextricable part of the brand presentation and the shopping experience. The wrong music can undermine everything else that you do right. The little things matter! If you know of any musicians who would be a fit for the Adagio brand, please let me know. more >

The Sell-By Debate

I received an excellent question this morning from TeaChat user Herb_Master in Stockton, England. He asked how we intend to handle sell-by dating and what systems we will put in place to track and "move" aging product. There is no uniform or universally accepted system used for food dating in the United States. So how will Adagio manage freshness on our own shelves and guide the customer on drinking only "fresh" teas? more >

FDA packaging requirements for tea

Navigating regulations is one of the more intimidating aspects of running a business. The Food and Drug Administration's labeling regulations are no exception. The purpose of this article is to provide a little guidance based on my research and experience. more >

Building a tea collection

For anyone considering a new tea venture, building a product collection is one of the most important, and most enjoyable parts of the process. While "playing with tea" is what draws many people to this business, when the time comes to start making decisions the range of options and strategies can easily get intimidating. I've talked with dozens of tea entrepreneurs facing these decisions and would like to take this opportunity to highlight the product selection and branding strategy of a successful brick-and-morter and online retailer... more >

Packaging for Premium Teas

One of the first recommendations I made upon joining the team at Adagio was that we add a "Master's Collection", or a line of super-premium teas to cater to the connoisseur and compete with the Specialty Tea Industry's high-end brands. Adagio's management agreed, and the next step is to choose the right packaging for these teas. To do this, I'd like to start by answering a few key questions posed to me by our resident Marketing and Graphic Design Guru... more >

The future of the tea bag

It used to be that bagged teas were markedly inferior to even an untrained palate. Today, while MOST bagged teas are still commodity grade, mass-market products, the gap is shrinking rapidly. Some progressive retailers have even taken the risk of putting (gasp) top quality whole leaf teas into a bag. more >

Building an accessory collection

Without question, the focus of the Adagio Retail model is loose leaf tea. That said, new retail tea shops often derive 40% of first year sales from accessories. Even well established shops often get 20% to 25% of sales from accessories, so this is clearly a critical component of the business. This article details the Adagio strategy for building a successful accessory collection for the new retail store. more >

Moving an online tea collection into retail

After 10 wildly successful years in the online tea business it's safe to say that Adagio's tea collection is a proven success. But success online will not necessarily translate to a retail store. The question, is how does a company like Adagio need to adjust their tea collection to be successful in a physical retail environment? more >