Doug Hastie worked overseas and he came back to NZ in 2002 for good. Doug always loves tea but struggled to find any good quality tea in New Zealand, so he decided to set up a tea business and set out on an adventure to visit the best plantations in Asia, travelling to: Japan, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka.
Chanui started with the name Chai, and did leaf tea only as that was the preferred choice of tea connoisseurs.
It was extremely hard to get distribution into supermarkets initially as the tea category was dominated by large corporates, which made it very difficult to market. To counter this, Doug and his team completed tea tastings in supermarkets to show the superior taste of Chai/Chanui tea. This was very hard at the beginning, but through persistence and hard work, Doug grew distribution and Chanui achieved nationwide distribution.
As Chanui grew, it kept getting more and more requests for tea bags and finally in 2009, Chanui launched it’s teabag range to satisfy consumer demand. Teabags dominate Chanui’s sales now due to their convenience. In 2010, we started TV advertising with Doug Hastie fronting the ads and focussing on the quality of our tea, and testimonials from our customers. While these ads will never win awards, that have been very successful and now Chanui is well known brand known for quality products.
In 2015, Chanui launched biscuits, as they noticed this was another category dominated by large corporates with little customer focus. Again Chanui has been successful by delivering great quality products and fair prices.
While Chanui is grown a lot from its humble beginnings doing tea tastings in small supermarkets, it still remains focused on delivering the best quality products for New Zealanders. This is what has made Chanui such a New Zealand success story, and it is one of the few New Zealand owned company on supermarket shelves today.