News: Bristol ethical tea brand bought by Unilever
Bristol ethical tea company Pukka Herbs is now a sister business to Ben & Jerry’s, Marmite, PG Tips, Persil and Pot Noodle, having been purchased for an undisclosed sum by consumer goods giant Unilever.
Pukka Herbs was founded in Bristol in 2001 by friends Tim Westwell and Sebastian Pole, who met after Tim placed a classified ad in Venue magazine (‘Business Organics. If you’ve got a business idea and you want to grow it in a healthy, wealthy, sustainable way, give me a call’) and Sebastian was the only person to respond.
Sixteen years later and the Hengrove-based business is the fastest growing organic tea company in the world, with more than 1.5 billion cups Pukka teas have been enjoyed.
“Choosing Unilever came down to scale and sustainability,” said Sebastian.
“It is a leader in calling for business to act as a force for good; it welcomes our herbal knowledge and wants us to influence positively from within.”
Tim added: “With Unilever, we now have new levels of opportunity and influence – rooted in Bristol, but reaching all over the world.”
Unilever’s refreshment category president Kevin Havelock said that Pukka “aligns fully with our own sustainable growth model”.
He said: “Both of us believe in business being a force for good in society. Tim and Sebastian have cultivated Pukka into a successful business without ever compromising ingredients or their ideals.”
Read more: Meet the founders of Bristol’s Pukka tea