Mississippi-based tea company wins national award for product innovation

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, November 30, 2022

A Mississippi tea company will soon be selling products across the country after receiving national recognition for product innovation.

KeHE Distributors (KeHE), one of the largest natural, organic, specialty, and fresh distributors in North America, recently awarded Inaka Tea Company a national product innovation ‘Golden Ticket’.

In October, KeHE hosted a virtual TrendFinder™ event, giving global suppliers the chance to pitch their products one-on-one with KeHE’s Category Management team. The team actively reviews products and brands, through KeHE’s TrendFinder events, to determine which ones will best fit KeHE’s innovative product portfolio and ultimately presents them to its retailer partners.

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During the event, brands were evaluated on ingredients, innovation, taste, scalability, packaging, purpose, and passion. KeHE trend and innovation experts identified and awarded 23 suppliers with a ‘Golden Ticket’ indicating they have been selected to join KeHE’s robust assortment.

Inaka Tea is the only Mississippi brand to receive a ‘Golden Ticket’ award this round.

As a ‘Golden Ticket’ winner, Inaka will gain exposure to over 30,000 retail locations and support the distributor’s retail partners in bringing innovation and new products to their consumers. Along with assisting the selected brands with navigating distribution, KeHE will provide supplier promotional programs free of charge.

Chat Phillips, founder of Inaka Tea, says the TrendFinder award shows the valuable gap Inaka fills in the marketplace. “Growing a new brand and product category from scratch during a pandemic takes constant innovation. Receiving the KeHE TrendFinder ‘Golden Ticket’ is evident that what we’re doing is unique, innovative, and appealing to food and beverage consumers across the world,” said Phillips.

“We are not only passionate about innovation, but KeHE is taking strategic steps to curate the best item assortment for our retail partners, keeping them relevant, fresh, and ahead of the pack,” shared Rachelle Radcliffe, director of Brand Development at KeHE. “We also understand the challenges brands face as they enter the market, which is why we do what we can to set them up for success.”

For more information about Inaka Tea Company and to see where you can purchase tea, visit www.inakatea.com.

For a list of the 23 trendsetting Golden Ticket winners to watch, visit https://www.kehe.com/news-blog/news/kehe-uncovers-product-innovation-through-its-virtual-trendfinder-event/