“Leão is a century-old brand and pioneer in teas in Brazil. With this launch, we want to further expand our presence in the country's homes,” said Marcelo Corrêa, national sales manager for Leão food and drink.
The capsules offer consumers a more convenient and practical way to prepare tea, according to the manufacturer.
“They can prepare Leão tea in less than a minute, with no need to heat water in a kettle or microwave to pour it in a cup with the sachet,” he said. “Consumers want products that make their lives easier. With time becoming shorter, Brazilians are looking for new practical and convenient options.
“Every day more people are searching for different and healthy drink options that are more like their lifestyles and well-being. The tea category fits perfectly with this trend,” he told FoodNavigator-Latam.
Compatible with Nespresso machines, the pods are available in three flavors: original yerba maté; blackberry, blueberry and vanilla; and passionfruit, orange and ginger.
Leão said it sources the yerba maté from producers in southern Brazil while the herbs used in the Leão Senses range are imported mainly from Europe and Asia.
According to figures from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Association (FAO), Brazil is the biggest producer of yerba maté in the world, producing over 619,000 tonnes in 2017. It was followed by Argentina (290,950 mt) and Uruguay (105,005 mt).
It launched the pods in select retail chains in the São Paulo state in December before being rolled out throughout Brazil this month.
One pack contains 10 pods that brew around 200 ml of tea each. Coca-Cola Brazil said Matte Leão Original had a recommended retail price of R$ 19.90 and R$ 22.90 for Leão Senses.
The capsules are transparent and have a paper filter, which lets a maximum of flavor pass through, the company said.
“The pods are made out of plastic that [could be] recycled. We now have the challenge of helping and orientating our consumer to send their capsules to recycle. So, we are studying alternatives for it through partners.”
“We believe the demand from consumers for sustainable products will continue growing and we want to encourage them to dispose of the capsules in the proper recyclable waste. Demonstrating responsible practices is something we take very seriously. Our commitment is to reduce the impact of consumption to the environment.”
Last year, Coca-Cola Brazil announced a R$100 million investment into its returnable bottle initiative, rolling out universal formats with detachable labels to improved recyclability, reduce waste and improve carbon footprint.
Coca-Cola Brazil is the country’s biggest soft drink manufacturer, operating in nine segments: water, coffee, teas, soft drinks, nectars, juices, dairy products, sports drinks and vegetable drinks.
Its portfolio includes 213 products, including regular, zero-calorie and low-calorie variations.
Leão’s portfolio of brands includes the Leão tea and coffee range, Del Valle, Chimarrão Pampas and Powerade.