LAS VEGAS, Nev. (June 3, 2015) - World Tea Expo (#WorldTeaExpo or #WTE15), the leading tradeshow focused 100 percent on premium teas and related products, was deemed a success by attendees and exhibitors of the recent event, held May 6 - 8, 2015 in Long Beach, Calif. at the Long Beach Convention Center. Thousands of professionals from 50+ countries focused on everything tea --- from the latest trends and topics to the best new products, industry leaders and tea companies. Next year's event is scheduled for June 15 - 17, 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (#WTE16). Watch for upcoming details at WorldTeaExpo.com.
Exhibitor and attendee Maria Uspenski, CEO of The Tea Spot, shared, "World Tea Expo 2015 was by far the best, hands down, of the last 10 years of the event. The expo is an annual must-attend platform for The Tea Spot, to launch new products, reach high-quality new customers and re-connect with existing customers. And as tea is wildly growing in North America, it's exciting to see that come alive at World Tea Expo, as the tea industry conducts business with numerous vertical markets, showcases the latest products, evaluates trends and discusses key issues. World Tea Expo is a wonderful event, where the entire community builds each other up for the benefit of tea."
World Tea Expo exhibitor and attendee Youngmok Kim, Ph.D., senior research scientist at Synergy Flavors, Inc., said, "World Tea Expo 2015 was highly successful with the number of quality attendees, the variety of educational content, and the many exhibitors and companies from around the globe. Tea is now the 7th most popular drink in the United States, but its popularity is growing with a decreased demand for soft drinks. In fact, tea is quickly replacing soft drink's spot because people realize tea is healthy. World Tea Expo 2015 had many education sessions, including mine, clearly showing how tea is unbeatable in terms of health."
Fumi Sugita, general manager of Aiya America, an exhibitor at the recent event, said, "World Tea Expo is one of the best shows among more than 10 that we annually participate in. We put a lot of importance in meeting our existing customers face to face, whether it is just to say hello, or to introduce some of our newest products and services. This show definitely gives us a chance to do just that, and to build and nurture our relationship with them."
James Norwood Pratt, tea industry author and authority, one of the World Tea Award winners at the event, noted, "World Tea Expo is the annual gathering of the world's tea clans from every continent and, as such, it is simply irreplaceable. The 2015 World Tea Expo proved once again it is the best place not just to make sales but to make friends. We would go crazy without our World Tea Expo every year."
Jane Pettigrew, a tea industry educator, international tea consultant and author, as well as a World Tea Award winner, said, "World Tea Expo in Long Beach this year was, as usual, a busy, dynamic forum where people from all over the world and from all areas of the industry came together to share and learn. The level of knowledge of new comers to the industry and to Expo is increasing year by year, and the presence of new exhibitors, from countries such as Colombia and Indonesia, shows the value that the tea world puts on the Expo. With so much experience and expertise, we all gain from the ever expanding pool of knowledge that is available to us all each year."
Raelene Gannon, a certified tea sommelier, author of tea from cup to plate, and president of tea and all its splendour, shared, "I really saw an increased interest in bringing tea to the forefront on the menu and tea as an ingredient. More restaurants, chefs and foodservice professionals attended World Tea Expo this year. And this really shows that tea is getting noticed more by this segment. Of course, in these competitive and cost conscience times, adding high quality tea to the menu easily and notably sets a restaurant, café or foodservice operation apart from others."
Tim Kavanaugh, associate VP of product marketing at Sharp, said, "Sharp debuted the Tea-Ceré matcha maker at the 2015 World Tea Expo and it was a huge success! It was the perfect setting to demonstrate this one-of-a-kind product for tea industry insiders and build excitement around our July release. Winning the 'Best New Product Award for Innovation' was an honor and we can't wait to get this product in the homes of tea lovers everywhere."
Bruce Richardson, owner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas/Benjamin Press, explained, "World Tea Expo continues to be the premier gathering for both established tea professionals and budding entrepreneurs who want to stay up-to-date with the latest tea innovations from around the world."
Jack Groot, founder and creator of JP's Coffee & Espresso Bar and the Midwest Barista School (now called The Foundry) added, "The quality tea industry, not unlike the quality coffee industry, is a fairly small group of people, and many of the industry's professionals know each other. The camaraderie, networking and relationships that develop from attending an industry trade show with those people is gold. Tea brings together a diverse group of people from all over the globe, all of them connected to the tea industry one way or another. And this gathering together, this truly international event, is called World Tea Expo."
World Tea Awards
In addition to its education sessions and expo floor with more than 200 exhibitors, World Tea Expo hosted its World Tea Awards (#TeaChamp), a dinner and ceremony held on the historic Queen Mary ship. The second annual awards program, held May 7, recognized some of the best in the global tea industry, in a number of community-voted award categories. Winners include:
---Best Tea Educator - James Norwood Pratt, Author and Authority on Tea and Tea Lore
---Best Tea Health Advocate - Jane Pettigrew, Tea Specialist, Historian, Writer, Consultant
---Best Tea Marketing - Harney & Sons
---Best Tea Industry Innovator - Elyse Peterson, Tealet
---Best Tea Personality - Jane Pettigrew, Tea Specialist, Historian, Writer, Consultant
---Best Tea Publication - TeaTime Magazine
---Best Social Media Reach - Nicole Martin, @teaformeplease
---Best Tea Industry Website - Adagio Teas, adagiotea.com
---Best Tea Business - TeaSource
---Best Tea Blog - World of Tea by Tony Gebely
In addition to these awards, the John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to James Norwood Pratt. Formerly named the Cha Jing Lifetime Achievement Award, the John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award was renamed in 2015 to recognize the legacy of Mr. Harney, founder of Harney & Sons Fine Teas, who passed away in 2014. The Award is a community celebration in honor of the tea pioneers who helped fuel the market and shape the tea industry of today.
Best New Product Awards
World Tea Expo also reviewed and selected the very best new tea and tea-related products from among its many exhibitors, for its 2015 Best New Product Awards. Winners include:
--Best New Product - Innovation: Tea-Ceré Matcha Tea Maker by Sharp Electronics
--Best New Product - Tea as an Ingredient: Matcha LOVE - Culinary Matcha by ITO EN (Tie With) Zest Tea Energy Blends by Zest Tea LLC
--Best New Product-Open Class: Coffee Leaf Tea by Wize Monkey
--Best New Product - Tea Ware: CRAFTEA Ultimate Tea Maker by CRAFTEA
Watch WorldTeaExpo.com for upcoming details on the 2016 event. Also visit WorldTeaontheRoad.com for details on the exciting new "World Tea On the Road," Oct. 10 - 11 in Boston and Nov. 7 - 8 in Chicago.