Tea – Why It Matters, What Consumers Expect and Why It Needs to Be Included in OCS

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
9:45AM – 10:45AM

Track: Consumer and Industry Trends
Room: N246

The tea category is undergoing a fundamental shift as consumers prioritize health and wellness, and seek out authentic and exciting food and beverage experiences. Tea consumption has grown by 20% in the last 10 years, and tea growth continues to outpace that of coffee. This session will provide an overview of the different types of tea, consumer trends and the premiumization of the category, why it is critical to a hot beverage program, and why it’s no longer acceptable for tea to play second fiddle to coffee.

Sponsored by:



Vanessa Dew
CSO & Co-Founder
Health-Ade Kombucha

Vanessa Dew co-founded Health-Ade Kombucha in 2012 alongside her best friends and husband-and-wife team Justin and Daina Trout. Originally from Los Angeles, Dew worked in sales and marketing for a major pharmaceutical company before leaving to help start Health-Ade Kombucha.

As Chief Sales Officer (CSO), Dew brings an invaluable knowledge of sales and marketing that has successfully enabled Health-Ade to grow from a farmers’ market commodity to a nationwide brand. Dew leads the company’s burgeoning sales team while continuously working to boost availability in key channels and markets. The company’s consistent growth speaks to Dew’s expertise in educating customers and cultivating the Health-Ade brand. She has made her mark as an integral member of the team, equipped with an unwavering focus on the key metrics necessary to keep Health-Ade’s projected growth on track.

Dew received her BS in Biochemistry from UC San Diego and an MBA from the University of Southern California. In her free time, Vanessa can be found cooking, reading, staying active and hanging out with her pup, Dubu.


Abbe Kuhn
Beverage Innovation Director

Abbe G. Kuhn is the Beverage Innovation Director for the Lipton, Pure Leaf and the TAZO Brands for Unilever Food Solutions N.A. In her capacity as a Technical Project Leader and Liquid Chef of New Beverage Innovations, Abbe is responsible for developing and creating innovative teas that combine science, organoleptic expertise, and best in class flavors. Her innovations continue to secure Unilever’s place as a category leader in specialty tea. Abbe is often cited as one of the most respected beverage scientists in the business and has appeared on the cover of Prepared Foods Magazine, in an episode of Unwrapped on the Food Network, as a guest on Bonnie Churchill’s radio show for CBS News Radio and is in Who’s Who in America. Prior to Unilever, some of her major beverage developments are Lemon Lime and Orange Slice for Pepsi, Schweppes and Canada Dry Flavored Ginger Ales for Cadbury Beverages, Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum for Joseph.E. Seagram & Sons and Ruby Red Squirt for A&W. Raised in Forest Hills, N.Y. Abbe attended Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. majoring in Food Science. She has a son Jacob, who is without question, her greatest development to date!

Appel Lipsius-Linda

Linda Appel Lipsius
Co-Founder and CEO

Linda is the Co-Founder & CEO of Teatulia Organic Teas. Since 2006, she’s been working with her partners in Bangladesh to bring premium-quality, organic, direct-sourced teas from a previously-unknown growing region to the U.S. She has built a brand known for doing things better – from the regenerative garden itself to sustainable packaging to the long list of awards Teatulia has received. Named one of Food & Wine/Fortune’s 20 Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink, Lipsius is a leading voice in topics ranging from entrepreneurship to women in business to sustainable business practices to clean food. Linda also started the mama’hood (a resource for new & expecting moms & families), and Teatulia Tea Bar. Previously, Linda was VP International with Orange Glo International – and Account Manager for Young & Rubicam. A Denver Native, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in NYC and her MBA in finance from NYU before moving to London, Los Angeles then back to Denver. She now lives in Denver with her husband and 11 & 9 year old kids. In her spare time, Linda hangs with her kiddos, escapes to the mountains, devours movies & books and runs or practices yoga.


Allison Slater
Senior Manager
The Tea Company at Unilever Food Services

Allison is the North American lead of The Tea Company by UFS, the world’s largest tea company. With over 12 years of experience in beverage sales and customer development, Allison is uniquely qualified to comment on both operator and consumer needs, trends, and expectations driving the fast-growing tea category. She is passionate about delivering best-in-class beverage solutions and is here to tell you that your customers care about tea! In her free time, there is no place she would rather be than with her husband, Greg, and their two boys, Grady and Milo.

About NAMA - Founded in 1936, NAMA is the association representing the $25 billion U.S. convenience services industry. With more than 1,000 member companies – including many of the world’s most recognized brands – NAMA provides advocacy, education and research for its membership. Visit www.namanow.org.

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