TWG Tea

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TWG Tea
Type Private
Industry Tea
Founded Singapore (2008 (2008))
Founders
  • Taha Bouqdib
  • Maranda Barnes
  • Manoj M Murjani
Production output Tea
Pastries
Desserts
Website www.twgtea.com

TWG Tea is a brand of tea which was established in Singapore in 2008. The company promotes itself as a luxury brand. TWG stands for The Wellness Group.

History[edit]

TWG Tea's parent company, The Wellness Group, was founded by Manoj M. Murjani in 2003.[1]

TWG Tea was established in 2008 by Murjani,[2] Taha Bouqdib,[3] and Maranda Barnes.[4] The company opened its first tea outlet in Raffles Place's Republic Plaza.[3]

In 2008, during its first year of operations, TWG Tea products were sold at Dean & Deluca, in New York. In 2010 the brand opened its first overseas store in Jiyūgaoka, Tokyo. [5] Within a span of six years, TWG Tea has opened salons and boutiques in 14 countries. As of 2014, TWG Tea have distributors or outlets in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, China, the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Australia.[6]

In 2014, TWG Tea began a training facility at its headquarters in Singapore where it trains staff in tea preparation, tea history, and how to mix and pair tea with food.[7]

Branding[edit]

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Branded as the "first and only upscale tea salon" in Singapore, TWG Tea sells tea, as well as tea-infused food, such as savoury items, pastries and desserts.[3] It also sells upscale tea accessories, such as gold and platinum teacups.[1] TWG Tea products are sold through the company's outlets as well as in upscale retailers such as Harrods and Dean & DeLuca. TWG Tea sells over 800 different tea varieties from every tea producing country in the world.[8][7]

Tea[edit]

Classification and packaging[edit]

TWG Tea presents their teas classified by colour: red, white, yellow, green, blue and black.[9] The company sells 800 different kinds of tea sourced from different parts of the world and packaged under names such as "White House Tea" and "Singapore Breakfast Tea".[10] Its most expensive tea, Gold Yin Zhen Silver Needle Golden is sold for $250 thousand yuan per kilogram.[11]

Cuisine[edit]

The tea-related cuisine sold by TWG Tea follows the same menu at all outlets. The menu contains both afternoon tea sets and other dining options. In addition to tea, outlets also sell other beverages, including alcohol.[12]

Lawsuit[edit]

As of December 2014, the company is involved in two ongoing legal disputes relating to their naming and shareholding issues.

Naming lawsuit[edit]

In 2011, a lawsuit against TWG Tea was filed by tea retailer Tsit Wing International and its parent company Tsit Wing, for incorporating the abbreviation TWG in its name, which was trademarked by Tsit Wing. The latter company, which is based in Hong Kong, was founded in 1932.[13]

A judge handling the lawsuit noted in July 2013 that the use of the "existence of the date 1837 in TWG Tea's sign has led people to believe that the company was established at that time", while in actuality it was founded much later, in 2008. In justification, the firm's spokespeople claimed that it was instead a tribute to the "year when the Chamber of Commerce was founded in Singapore".[13] The case was ruled in Tsit Wing's favour, with damages payable yet to be decided. Shortly after the ruling, TWG Tea filed for appeal.[14]

On 3 December 2014, TWG Tea lost a court appeal and as a result it may have to change its name in Hong Kong. TWG Tea has room to pursue its final appeal. According to the company's lawyer, in case the company loses the appeal again, it may use another registered logo containing the acronym "TW" instead of the currently used "TWG", to which Tsit Wing had no objection.[15]

Shareholding lawsuit[edit]

A second lawsuit was launched against the company on 17 February 2014 by one of the company's founders, Manoj Mohan Murjani, who claimed his ownership in the company has been unlawfully diluted by another founder, Taha Bou Qdib, and as a result was in breach of shareholding agreement previously signed.[16] The trial is expected to take place in 2015 but no date has been fixed yet.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ong, Soh Chin (April 2009). "Brewing success". The Peak Singapore. Retrieved July 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Tea for two and me and you". AsiaOne. October 20, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "TWG Tea Salon: Taking over Singapore one cup at a time". CNN. December 1, 2009. 
  4. ^ "TWG Tea to launch new luxury collection of ice teabags". SoShiok. June 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Stirring up sales with apps". SoShiok. Retrieved Feb 28, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Our Locations". TWG Tea. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "TWG Tea: The Art of the Blend". Billionaire. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "TWG Tea Salon & Boutique - Discover A Whole New World Of Sensations And Flavours With Tea Gastronomy". What's New Jakarta. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Elevating the common cup of tea". Inquirer.Net. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  10. ^ "TWG Tea president has high hopes for Korea". The Korean Times. Retrieved Apr 6, 2014. 
  11. ^ "旅遊的滋味-一斤茶葉25萬元!TWG Tea來台踢館". Chinetimes. Retrieved Apr 19, 2014. 
  12. ^ "TWG brews perfect tea gastronomy at its new boutique". Bangkok Post. Retrieved Oct 17, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Vijayan, K.C. (July 28, 2013). "Storm brews over TWG Tea logo in HK court". The Straits Times. 
  14. ^ Vijayan, K.C. (August 2, 2013). "HK ruling not S'pore firm's cup of tea". AsiaOne. 
  15. ^ Chu, Julie (4 December 2014). "TWG tea shop may have to change its name after court decision in trademark case". South China Morning Post (South China Morning Post). Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "Response to Writ of Summons from The Wellness Group Pte. Ltd.". Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "POST Q3 INVESTOR QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS". Retrieved 2 December 2014. 

External links[edit]