Unilever buys ethical brand Pukka

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Unilever has acquired ethical tea brand Pukka for an undisclosed sum, the Guardian reported this morning.

The consumer giant which already owns PG Tips is adding to its tea portfolio with the brand known for its exotic flavours such as mint matcha and Turmeric gold.

Founders Sebastian Pole and Tim Westwell are believed to have agreed to stay on to help drive global expansion of the brand.

With sales of £50m Pukka is the world’s fastest-growing herbal tea brand, but is not yet profitable as it made a pre-tax loss of £24,000 last year.

Speaking to the Guardian Mick van Ettinger, head of tea at Unilever, said Pukka the sale to Unilever offered a “beautiful and great growth opportunity” by using group’s network to increase distribution.

The sale may raise fears that the independent ethical brand may lose its values by being taken over by a large corporation.

However Pole assured customers and said: “Pukka will remain exactly the same but just be able to reach more people and have a greater environmental impact.”

He added they had agreed “solid iron-clad commitments” from Unilever to ensure they stand by its ethical and said they had decided to sell to Unilever partly because of its commitment to sustainability.

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