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Spotless teabag to enter the global market

Spotless Tea Bag Oy, which has received Finnpartnership’s business partnership support, aims for the global teabag market. With the help of the support, the company has studied the licensing possibilities for the Sri Lankan tea producers, and the negotiations are on-going.
Spotless Tea Bag Oy, which has received Finnpartnership’s business partnership support, aims for the global teabag market. With the help of the support, the company has studied the licensing possibilities for the Sri Lankan tea producers, and the negotiations are on-going.

The Spotless Tea Bag Oy’s business partner, Walki, has provided Amivarsha Packagers Private Limited in India with compostable laminate, which the company will use to produce trial batches of the bag and offer them to its existing tea refinery contacts in India, Sri Lanka and Kenya with funding from Finnpartnership. However, the final decision is in the hands of the tea refineries, because they have also received laminates from two of Spotless Tea Bag Oy’s other cooperation partners, Mondi and Bio Bag with differing properties and prices.

Kauppalehti, 24 November 2015, Spotless teabag to enter the global market

Matti Koskinen, an inventor from Tampere, aims for the global market of clean and tidy tea drinkers.
Matti Koskinen, 56, takes out his invention. It is an individually packaged teabag turned 90 degrees on its side. The package is thin laminate. It also preserves the tea’s flavours. The bag is opened on its long side, and inside you will find the actual teabag which is put in to the cup for brewing. The initial packaging layer turns effortlessly into a small dish in which you can place the teabag after it has done its job. Then the little cup can be tightly sealed. Now it is ready for the compost bin. And voilà: the table is spotless.

Simplicity is beautiful. Koskinen started creating his teabag back in 2009. Soon he launched his business, Spotless Tea Bag Oy. Now the prototype is complete, and his business activities are coming together. The packaging has even been patented as a change of original use.

And that is not all. The actual teabag is being changed too. Koskinen is bringing in nanotechnology and giving the bag a superhydrophobic base, which means that is does not let the tea in the bag out after use. 

“I have studied the global teabag market. Approximately 220 billion teabags are used on this globe every year. We want a small fraction of that. We are aiming to the premium class of the global teabag market.”

The industry’s pecking order is as follows: the majority of teabags are sold in big packages. Some of them contain literally the dust swept up from the floor, and the price is, accordingly, under one cent a bag. Then there are the teabags that have been individually wrapped in protective paper cases and, lastly, the teabags packed in aroma-preserving foil.

“Right at the top is our Steabag brand. Our packaging preserves aromas and is compostable.”
Koskinen was about to plunge into the same pit as he did with his previous invention. It was a tube that could be squeezed completely empty. Neither the tube manufacturers nor the packaging side took it up. Now Koskinen is battling with tea manufacturers as well as packaging machinery and packaging material manufacturers. The teabag will be taken to the global market as a licensed product. A proportion of each bag that is sold will make its way to the Finnish company’s bank account.

Ice breaks. The company has started business activities with a number of material and packaging manufacturers. Companies involved are the Finnish company, Walki, South-African Mondi and Indian Amivarsha. The Finnish Multicatering will also hop on board. The company’s sales director, Otto Kuojärvi, tells that Multicatering will represent Spotless Tea Bag in Finland and maybe elsewhere too.

The product is so delightful and attractive that Koskinen has managed to gather a lot of goodwill around him.  Jaakko Nevanlinna, a familiar name from the telecommunications industry, is the chairman of Spotless Tea Bag Oy’s board. Koskinen has received export help from Finpro and professor-level spurring. The invention won Privanet’s Listaamaton Mahdollisuus 2015 final and received a €50,000-investment into the business. The company has gathered a group of 100 enthusiastic investors, which has brought €300,000 worth of investments. Now the share-holders are tensely waiting. There are no major business angels among them.

Heikki Haapavaara

Published 22.12.2015