Virtually unknown tea company takes on the tea giants and wins a 22% market share.

"Bigelow Tea has a 22% share of the national tea market.Our closest competitor (with 10 times our marketing budget) has only an 10% share. Clearly, our marketing is 10 times more effective."

– David Bigelow , CEO, R.C. Bigelow Tea

Bigelow Magazine Ad

In the early 1990s, Bigelow was struggling to compete with much larger tea brands from all over the world. They weren’t gaining market share, and sales were flat.

In 2002, Bigelow hired Sean Tracey Associates to help them turn things around. STE identified and narrowed Bigelow’s target market and developed a new strategy and multiple marketing campaigns that appealed to this target demographic.


STA’s research showed that Bigelow’s untapped target market was men. Men were not traditionally tea drinkers, but they were open to trying new things. We created a series of ads that featured famous athletes drinking Bigelow Green Tea and the health benefits of green tea. In 2004, Bigelow became the #1 specialty tea in the U.S.


STA also helped Bigelow develop a new overall branding campaign. The new campaign focused on Bigelow’s three major, unique benefits. The ads showed that Bigelow is a family-owned company that has been making tea for nearly 75 years. They also showed that Bigelow uses only the finest ingredients, sourced from all over the planet, while also calling out the company’s reputation for over 70 great tea flavors. This helped Bigelow differentiate itself from other tea brands, and it increased their credibility and popularity with consumers.


  • 12% to 27% Market Share in New York

  • 18% to 33% Market Share in Boston

  • #13 to #1 Tea Brand in America