People’s Champion finalist 2018: Sticksology

Tea, reinvented: Sticksology has taken one of Britain’s most beloved products and solved the problems we never knew were there. Could it be your People's Champion?

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Start-up name: Sticksology
Founders: Ricky Kothari
Started in: January 2015
Based in: London
Business description: Produces recyclable foil tea infuser sticks 

Shortlisted category:

The Start Up Loans Company Inspiring Entrepreneur of the Year

The Sticksology story:

The humble tea bag has been around forever. Most people encounter them every single day and it would never occur to them that the design could be drastically improved.

Ricky Kothari however, was frustrated by the way that it’s nigh-on impossible to use a tea bag without a teaspoon, and even then it’s tricky to avoid drippage. When was the last time you made a cup of tea and didn’t splash at least a few drops on the counter or leak tea from a soggy teabag en route to the bin?

So Kothari came up with the idea for a teabag that is also effectively its own spoon – also known as the ‘T-Stick’. The product consists of a foil tube encasing loose tea leaves that infuses when dunked in hot water.

Due to its straw-like shape, it effectively acts as container and strainer, all in one. The product outstrips the traditional tea bag for convenience too, as it’s much easier to use when you’re on the go.

Sticksology is also doing its bit for the planet by using only recyclable packaging, as well as reducing water wastage from thousands of teaspoons that no longer need to be washed.

This ingenuity of product design comes at no sacrifice of taste. Self-proclaimed unashamed ‘tea geeks’, the Sticksology team spend their days “figuring out the complexities or rather, complexi-teas, of making the perfect brew.” The end result is a perfect blend of passion and innovation, creating a high-quality product.

Sticksology’s ambition doesn’t end there. From its launch back in 2015, the company has been building a global brand and has had an office in Shanghai since the get-go. Now, 85% of the company’s revenue is from export: 70% to China and 15% to the rest of the world spanning Europe and Asia.

That said, Sticksology’s product remains true to its British roots and is ‘flying the Union flag’ all over the world with its quintessentially British taste.

Why Sticksology made our shortlist:

Sticksology has impressed with its innovation in taking an everyday product and transforming it into a more convenient and environmentally friendly proposition, without sacrificing quality.

The company’s boldness in going global from day one and taking up the challenge to sell tea to China, combined with the ingenuity of product design and a real love for tea, are what sets it apart in a saturated hot beverage market.

Where to find out more about Sticksology:


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