Many people would be surprised to learn that a large number of the world’s most popular brands are owned by the same company, Unilever. Unilever is a massive, multinational corporation with dual headquarters in London, UK, and Rotterdam in The Netherlands. Unilever is a corporate consumerist powerhouse, with a large number of well-known brands of food, beverages, and cleaning agents and personal care products as well. The brands of tea owned by the Unilever corporation include Lipton and PG Tips, the most popular brands of tea in the U.S. and UK, respectively, and Red Rose, a major Canadian tea brand.
Lipton Tea and Unilever:
Lipton tea was founded by Thomas Lipton in 1893, as the Thomas J Lipton Co. Although Lipton himself was a resident of Scotland, the company had a packing operation in New Jersey. Unilever acquired the Lipton brand slowly and over a long period of time. In 1938, Unilever purchased the U.S. and Canadian divisions of the Lipton brand, but the rest of the worldwide operations remained separate until Unilever bought them in 1972.
Unilever and PG Tips:
PG Tips started as a brand of the Brooke Bond tea company, which was at the time an independent manufacturer of tea based in the UK. Brooke Bond had its own brand of tea, but the PG Tips brand, launched in 1930, became the most successful and well-known brand of tea under the company’s umbrella. Brooke Bond continued to grow, and merged with the Liebig company in 1968. In 1984, Unilever bought up this product. Unilever has since discontinued the Brooke Bond brand name for tea, but it continues to use the PG Tips brand name.
Red Rose Tea:
Red Rose Tea is a brand of tea popular in Canada, but also widely available in the U.S. Unilever currently owns the rights to the Red Rose Tea brand in Canada, but sold the rights to the name in the U.S. to another company.
Other Unilever Tea Brands:
Unilever continues both to acquire new brands through acquisition of tea companies, and to introduce new brands of tea developed under its corporate guidance. One of the brands created by Unilever is Saga Tea, marketed in Poland. In 1996, Unilever acquired Lyons tea, a major Irish brand of tea.
Unilever has major market dominance in the mainstream tea business in a variety of countries, owning the Bushells and Lan-choo tea brands in Australia, McCollins Tea in Peru, Sariwangi Tea in Indonesia, and Scottish Blend in Scotland.
Unilever is a large multinational corporation that owns a large number of tea companies and brands.