By Aaron Kiel
Leaders from the global tea industry are getting ready to attend, exhibit and participate in the 2022 World Tea Conference + Expo, the most influential event dedicated to evolving the tea industry through interactive technologies, market applications, creative content and community collaboration. The event kicks off on March 21 and continues through March 23 in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the conference and expo, and a special celebration is planned for the evening of March 21 – to honor the achievement and to celebrate the people who make up the industry, as well as to recognize how much the tea marketplace has grown in North America since the show began 20 years ago.
The 20th Anniversary Celebration will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Westgate Hotel & Casino in Ballroom A. Note: A separate ticket is required of all attendees ($50 a ticket, which can be purchased on site at registration or at the door).
Tickets to the celebration include hors d’ouvres, beverages and the Best of Awards presentation, including recognition of industry luminaries, and a walk down memory lane with images from 20 years of the World Tea Conference + Expo.
Win the Grand Prize at the 20th Anniversary Celebration
Attendees of the 20th Anniversary Celebration will also have the chance to win a grand prize – a trip to the 2023 World Tea EXPO in Hadong, Korea, May 4 to June 3, 2023 – during a special raffle. The grand prize includes: two tickets to attend World Tea EXPO Hadong in 2023 and accommodations and meals for seven days (airfare not included).
In addition, attendees will have the chance to win gift basket donations from: Glenburn Tea Direct, Jeni Dodd Tea, ITO EN, SerendipiTea, The Tea Smith and The Great Mississippi Tea Company.
“We are excited to be at the upcoming World Tea Conference + Expo this March,” said exhibitor Michael Harney, vice president and master tea buyer and blender at Harney & Sons Fine Teas. “We’ve been attending World Tea since day one, and we look to re-establish this tradition during the 20th anniversary event and celebration.”
Brendan Shah, CEO of International Tea Importers, which will also be exhibiting and sponsoring, said, “We are most excited to see our colleagues at the show. We believe the World Tea Conference + Expo is crucial to the industry because it gives us an opportunity to keep up with industry trends and introduce new products, but most importantly see our extended tea family and bring new tea lovers into the fold.”
Manik Jayakumar, the founder of QTrade Teas & Herbs, based in Southern California, encouraged every leading tea company to participate, exhibit and send reps to attend the show for tea education, and to see the latest trends in the specialty tea world. “The World Tea Conference + Expo is the only show in the country – and in the world – that has been promoting tea since its very inception. This is a great show for networking and, more importantly, for tea education. QTrade Teas & Herbs has been exhibiting at this show over the years and has made many lasting tea friends – and customers – from around the world. QTrade Teas & Herbs will once again exhibit at this year’s show, and we wish the 20th anniversary event much success.”
‘An Immersive Experience’
For Nishchal Banskota, the founder of Nepal Tea, based in Long Island City, N.Y., the World Tea Conference + Expo holds a “dear place” in his heart. “I am super pumped to participate in the 20th anniversary of the event,” he said. “I still vividly remember setting up my first ever trade show booth in 2016 at the World Tea Conference + Expo. It was there where I met two of my most valuable wholesale customers, who I still work with very closely. The expo gave me my first few buyers and that is quite special. We’ve attended and exhibited the expo ever since, and we have always found it super helpful to connect with industry leaders and potential customers, in addition to catching up with tea colleagues.”
Banskota added, “As the World Tea Conference + Expo has evolved, so has our company and my personal interaction with the event. While I was simply exhibiting for a few years, this year I am actually contributing to the expo by teaching a portion of the Tea Business Incubator and speaking on various other topics. So, I believe I have made a truly symbiotic relationship with the World Tea Conference + Expo from the start! For anyone thinking of getting into the tea industry or already involved in the industry, I don’t think there is any other expo that will give you as much information, networking opportunities and an immersive experience as the World Tea Conference + Expo. So, do attend!”
In addition to gathering leading companies and professionals from all areas of the tea industry, the event will also attract businesses and buyers from various vertical markets, including grocery and retail, coffee and tea houses and chains, restaurants/bars and foodservice establishments, hotels and F&B directors, beverage manufacturers, wellness businesses, distributors and developers, up-and-coming tea business entrepreneurs and more. Attendees will gain insights about tea and new ways their company can profit from it, in addition to discovering the latest trends and products.
“Since the Sri Lanka Tea Board is a regular participant at World Tea Conference + Expo events, it is expected that the 2022 expo will be a good platform for us to promote innovative Ceylon Tea products – artisanal teas, value added teas, iced teas – during the exhibition,” said Pavithri Peiris, director of promotion for the Sri Lanka Tea Board. “We are certain that the 2022 World Tea Conference + Expo will be a very successful platform with productive programs for tea businesses and buyers from the United States.”
The Sri Lanka Tea Board is a government statutory board that functions as an apex body for the tea industry in Sri Lanka. The major functions of the board are monitoring, developing and regulating the tea industry and the promotions of Ceylon Tea globally. The board has been a regular participant and exhibitor at the World Tea Conference + Expo to further tap into the North American Market.
“The United States is the third largest importer of tea in the world and one of the top Ceylon Tea importing nations,” explained Peiris. “For the last couple of years, demand from the United States for Ceylon Tea – and also for specialty teas produced in Sri Lanka – has increased, while showing a potential growth for Ceylon Tea and avenues for penetrating in the U.S. market.”
Peiris added, “We strongly believe that the World Tea Conference + Expo will be a unique forum that brings together experts, business leaders and fledgling entrepreneurs across the tea industry under one roof.”
From Flowerhead Tea to Australian Native Products
Flowerhead Tea – a woman owned, small batch, loose-leaf tea and chai company, based in Oakland, Calif. – will also be participating in the World Tea Conference + Expo. “We are really stoked to be a part of this year’s World Tea Conference + Expo to expand our growth in this industry,” said Kendall Brinkley, head of operations at Flowerhead Tea, which was founded in 2020.
“Besides our individual loose-leaf blends, we are super excited to showcase our world-famous Chai Kits,” shared Brinkley. “Our chai has a cult following, so for our customers to be able to make it at home is something we have always dreamed of. We believe Flowerhead Tea embraces and brings a unique, fun and energetic vibe to the table. We can’t wait to meet new friends, make new connections and be amongst so many amazing companies doing great things for tea.”
Australian Native Products is also among the many exhibitors at the upcoming World Tea Conference + Expo. “Events like the World Tea Conference + Expo allow us to introduce products to a focused industry audience, giving us the opportunity to talk to developers, buyers and business owners,” said Ross Norris, general manager of Australian Native Products.
According to Norris, Australian Native Products has a clear vision to take lemon myrtle to the world. “Being established more than 20 years ago and the largest grower of this Australian native herb in the world, we are experts in not only it’s amazing flavor and aroma but also its functional benefits. These make it the perfect addition to any tea product, whether it be a hot tea blend, iced tea or even alcoholic beverages that use tea and other botanicals.”
Norris added, “With our recent achievement of USDA certified organic and self-affirmed GRAS, and our investment in expanding our plantations, as well as developing the science behind lemon myrtle, we are perfectly positioned to bring the ‘Queen of lemon herbs’ to the U.S. market and share it with some of the world’s biggest brands.”
Exhibitors Look Forward to Connecting with Buyers, Other Tea Professionals
“I’m looking forward to connecting with other tea connoisseurs, professionals and producers at the 2022 World Tea Conference + Expo,” said Gina Keatley, CEO of Sicilian Olive Leaf Tea Company. “I love trying, tasting and talking tea with some of the most knowledgeable people in the business.”
Keatley and Sicilian Olive Leaf Tea Company will be debuting Matche – the world’s first powdered olive leaf tea. “Matche encompasses all the things that make tea great – it’s delish, super nutritious, sustainable and innovative, utilizing underused ingredients,” she said. “And it’s Italian. Who doesn’t want to be Italian?”
As a foodie entrepreneur, Keatley admits she has always been known for biting off a bit more than she can chew on culinary adventurers, and Matche is no different. “Yes, it’s a totally fresh product in a region of the world known more for cappuccino than chai, but that’s what makes it great,” she said. “It’s uncharted territory. It’s challenging, bold, untamed and a blend of cultures – just like Sicily, where the olive leaves come from. We are looking forward to the world loving Matche as much as we do, and they will get their first taste at the 2022 World Tea Conference + Expo.”
Marumatsu Tea Co., Ltd., a traditional Japanese tea company that was established in 1899, is also among the many exhibitors that are scheduled for the World Tea Conference + Expo. “Since our founding, we have been making every effort to provide high quality Japanese tea,” said Tatsuo Sano, managing director of Marumatsu Tea Co., Ltd., based in Japan.
“At the World Tea Conference + Expo, we will make and serve Mizudashi Cold Brew Authentic Japanese Tea, which takes three hours to prepare, and we will also serve Japanese Matcha made the traditional way – and in front of attendees,” said Sano. “We hope everyone enjoys our authentic organic tea, while spending relaxing time with family and loved ones.”
Don’t Miss the World Tea Conference + Expo,
March 21-23, 2022
To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at a future World Tea Conference + Expo, contact:
(for companies A to G)
(for companies H to Q)
p: (917) 258-8589
(for companies R to Z)
e: email@example.com: 917-258-5174