Nowadays, there are so many tea brands and flavors to try that you might forget about Lipton. Whether it is your brand of choice or not, it’s likely that you know exactly what a cup of Lipton’s tea tastes like — but you may not know that what makes Lipton so distinct is the company’s roots. It all started with a man with a vision: He wanted to give everyone in the world the ability to enjoy tea, regardless of background.
To do so, Thomas Lipton started from scratch. First, he bought five bankrupt plantations and turned them into efficient and quality tea fields. Then, he revolutionized the way tea was packaged, forever changing the way people enjoy it.
Whether it is about the founder, the history of the company, or where it is today, there’s plenty to know about this iconic brand.
Read on for 9 things you didn’t know about Lipton.
In 1871, Sir Thomas Lipton opened Lipton Grocery in Glasgow, Scotland. A few years later, he bought five bankrupt plantations in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and turned them into efficient and quality tea fields so he could sell his own tea in the market for at whatever price he wanted. This was the beginning of the Lipton’s tea revolution, compelling him to turn Lipton Grocery into a tea brand instead.
In 1889, Lipton celebrated his first 20,000 tea chests arriving in Glasgow with a bagpipe parade and a brass band for the public to see. This wasn’t the first wacky marketing stunt he pulled, though, for when Lipton Grocery opened, he issued “Lipton Currency Notes” to locals to promote the business. Crazy stunts like these now have a place in modern marketing history.
Unilever & PepsiCo
Unilever — a multinational consumer goods company — purchased Lipton branches in the U.S. and Canada in 1938. The two companies completed the transaction in 1972, when Unilever bought the remainder of the global Lipton business. In order to grow and gain assistance with bottling expertise, Unilever and PepsiCo joined forces in 1991, creating Pepsi Lipton. Overall, the creation of the 50-50 joint venture — Pepsi Lipton International — was created to accelerate Lipton’s growth. This resulted in the marketing of their ready to drink (bottles and canned) teas in North America.