Sweet Leaf and NUMI received $18 million* and $1.8 million, respectively, in capitol from investors during April.
Sweet Leaf Gets a Sweet Deal. Excerpt:
"Catterton Partners, which is based in Greenwich, Conn., invested in numerous companies, including Build-a-Bear, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Odwalla and Kettle Foods.
'The ready-to-drink tea category is a $2.8 billion industry with the premium segment growing at an annual rate of 25 percent,' says Michael Farello, partner, Catterton Partners, who will join Sweet Leaf Tea's board of directors. 'Our assessment shows that Sweet Leaf Tea has the greatest potential for growth of any company in the category. This investment will give Sweet Leaf Tea the resources it needs to achieve an entirely new level of national awareness and sales.'"
NUMI Gets Shown the MONEY. Excerpt:
"'NUMI Organic Tea is a highly regarded industry leader in the premium organic tea category and has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to innovation, supply chain transparency, organic and fair trade advocacy, sustainable packaging, and assistance to tea producing villages in China, India and Africa' said Mark Finser, General Partner of TBL Capital.
NUMI Organic Tea pioneered the introduction of exotic herbs such as Rooibos, Lemon Myrtle, Honeybush and Dry Desert Lime that were popular in Europe but completely unknown in the United States. NUMI Organic Tea is also known for their innovative line of Flowering Tea; hand sewn tea leaves that blossom open when steeped in hot water. NUMI Organic Tea is responsible for commercializing this beautiful artisan trend from China....
TBL (Triple Bottom Line) Capital invests in... companies that are socially responsible and profitable."
It would seem that Catterton and TBL know what they're doing. Tea is increasing being recognized for its rapidly growing market and enormous sales increases. Having interviewed a rep from Austin-based Sweet Leaf a while back and having tried a number of NUMI's organic products, I'm glad to see both of these companies, ahem, infused with capitol they can use to further expand their markets, and tea's popularity in the US. Congrats!
*This figure is a correction from the original post.