Today it is one of the leading companies in this market in our country. Innovation plays a fundamental role in the company, which is guided by one maxim: to bring to market products that bring something new to the industry.

The history of take care It started almost a decade ago and its beginnings were really tough. in 2006, Second patina, the company’s founder and CEO, left his job at a company in the biscuit industry and embarked on this new adventure. “I would buy 20-kilo sacks of tea, wrap it up at my house at night and go out in the morning to sell it in bars,” he says.

Through his previous job, he knew both the distribution channel and the hotel industry very well, especially in the franchise sector. And it was precisely at this time that brands such as Café & Té, Café Jamaica or Café di Roma were having a good time, specialized establishments with a wide range of quality coffees and teas. “I understood that there is a very interesting market niche. I thought that what became known and successful in these specialized canteens could also be extended to the traditional hospitality industry,” he explains.

The following year he took another step forward. The company was founded as a company, two more people were added and a little more structure was added. It started re-importing teas with flowers, scents and flavors to our market and packaged them with a Packaging attractive and offers all ‘marketing’ paraphernalia. “In addition to selling tea to cafeterias, we also supplied all the elements to develop the product concept: menu, POS, teapots and utensils needed to prepare the infusions, etc.,” states the manager. Gradually, he managed to persuade retailers in the hospitality industry to include his teas and infusions in their product portfolio, apart from direct sales to bars and cafes.

The next step was to approach coffee suppliers in the hospitality industry. “The coffee machines that are on the premises are stored by the coffee farmer, who is the one who is really in control of what happens on the premises. We started offering them the possibility of preparing a series of teas and infusions with their brand,” Patiño specifies. One of his first customers in this branch was Cafés Guilis. Others came later, such as Cafés Baqué or Delta Cafés. “In a space of two years, we were already leaders in Spain in the segment of specialized teas and infusions for restaurants,” he says.

The leap to sales

Patiño confirms that he initially turned to the hospitality industry because he thought it was “the quickest and most direct way to generate volume and business.” However, the goal has always been to sneak onto the supermarket shelf. “We created one on the same basis of infusions and teas with different scents, flavors and colors Packaging attractive to go to the supermarket. We pulled out a 100 gram can with lots of color and visibility, a Packaging that broke with what was on the market,” he comments.

The company wanted to attract the specialized consumer of teas and infusions so that they could find products in the supermarket that were previously only available in herbalists or herbalists tea shops.

In 2008, Cuida Té was already present at Carrefour and some other distribution chains. Currently, its products are also available at El Corte Inglés, Alcampo, Simply, Eroski, Caprabo, etc. “Except for Mercadona and Consum in almost all the big chains in Spain,” he clarifies.

And the capsule arrived

With one foot in hospitality and the other in sales, it’s time to fill a gap through innovation. Entry into hypermarkets and supermarkets served to solidify the Cuida Té brand among the general public and pave the way for the next major milestone in its history: the launch of its capsules. “We were the first company in the world to produce tea capsules and infusions that are compatible with Nespresso machines. This product gave us a very important notoriety and helped us grow in export. We went from exporting to one or two countries to selling to more than 20,” says Patiño.

A few years later, the company began its foray into the coffee capsule segment with the Origen Sensations brand. “We weren’t the first to enter the market, nor were we a strong brand in the coffee sector, so we started making coffee capsules for third parties like DIA, Eroski or Carrefour,” he explains.

The experiences gained served for the next release. “We released the first compatible capsule in Spain with Dolce Gusto machines. We were the first and thought we had the opportunity to break into the market with our own brand. This enabled us to become known on the market not only as Cuida Té, but also as a coffee brand with Origen Sensations,” says the managing director.

“The capsule changed the meaning of the company,” he explains. Currently, capsules compatible with Nespresso and Dolce Gusto have become the company’s main line of business, accounting for between 55% and 60% of its total sales.

Export obsession

The capsule not only became the main source of income, but also helped create a brand and gave the company international reach. “We sell to about 26 countries and regularly export to 18 of them,” explains Patiño. “We have always tried, even when the company was very small, to ensure that export accounts for at least 30% of sales. It has always been an obsession and since the beginning we have attended international fairs in France, Germany, UK, USA etc. This gave us the opportunity to learn about other markets and trends,” he adds. Participation in trade fairs served to establish a network of business relationships and to contact potential partners for export. This year, international sales will contribute around 38% to sales.

The most important foreign markets are Switzerland, Italy and Germany, but Portugal, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Italy, the USA, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Costa Rica and China are also well represented. “It is important that the country has the right mentality for the product. Switzerland, for example, is a very modern country with innovative consumption. We arrived at a good time and with the right partner. We are very well represented there, with a presence in more than 500 supermarkets,” he specifies.

In fact, it underscores the importance of choosing a good partner local. “If you don’t rely on the product or it’s not valid enough, you have little chance of success,” he says.

As for market penetration, the company doesn’t have a fixed model. “There are countries where we have one agent and others where there are multiple distributors. And there are even countries where we only have direct customers and go to the supermarket,” explains the founder.

the first of the class

In a sector dominated by large multinationals, Cuida Té knows the keys to its success. “The formula to stand out is to do different things. Our added value is agility, rapid innovation and flexibility. We were very innovative because our flexibility allows us to do it. If we determine that there is an opportunity on the market, we will have the product in six months. The same development can take 3 or 4 years for a large multinational company,” says Patiño.

In line with this philosophy, its catalog does not feature a classic paper bag infusion. “We only offer the products that we understand will bring something new to the industry,” says the founder. Firstly in the hospitality industry with the introduction of tea and infusion menus in traditional bars and cafes. Later brought high-quality teas and infusions to the supermarket shelves, which brought herbalists and regular customers tea shops.

But its explosion came from launching products compatible with Nespresso (2009) and Dolce Gusto machines (2014), becoming one of the first brands to offer tea pods. It was also the first company to offer brew capsules – meat, chicken or vegetables – for Dolce Gusto devices.

The company was also a pioneer in launching many other products: teas and infusions for preparation in cold water, organic teas, soluble infusions, functional infusions – relaxing, digestive… -, infusions for the preparation of gin and tonics, etc.

Last year we went a step further with the presentation of the first ready-to-drink beverage. “Natural Fresh Tea is the first leaf-infused tea beverage made with natural fruits. It is sold in supermarkets in refrigerated shelves next to the coffee late‘ states Patiño.

And now he wants to go beyond the world of infusion. “We understand that everything related to care has a place in our brand. We’ve been working on a face cream project for two years,” he continues. The market release of this product is imminent.

cooking business

Cuida Té’s turnover has grown significantly in recent years. The company closed the 2017 financial year with a turnover of 17 million euros. And it is expected to close 2018 with a turnover of 19 million. If those projections come true, it will have nearly quintupled its revenue over the past five years.

Entry into the segment of capsules compatible with Nespresso and Dolce Gusto machines has been instrumental in this growth. It is not for nothing that this business area accounts for more than half (55%-60%) of its turnover. As for distribution by channel, currently 80% of the turnover comes from sales to hypermarkets and supermarkets, although the hospitality industry was the nucleus of their business. And in the Horeca channel, the production of the tea line for coffee growers – Cafés Guilis, Café Baqué, Delta Cafés… – accounts for two-thirds of sales, while the rest comes from own-brand marketing. On the other hand, 38% of the turnover comes from exports, with Switzerland, Italy and Germany being the main markets.