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Lipton TO device

Move over, kettle: Unilever to sell €179 Lipton tea machine

Unilever’s machine, called T.O. by Lipton and manufactured by appliance maker Krups, has gone on sale in France at a cost of about €179, €100 more than Nestlé’s cheapest tea machine in that market. A box of 10 tea capsules costs about €3.90.

The success of Nespresso, whose sales growth peaked at more than 40 percent in 2007, has inspired food companies to experiment with other machines that tie in users to their brands. Campbell Soup has formed an alliance with Keurig Green Mountain this month to sell K-Cups to make chicken noodle soup.

Nestlé started selling ‘Special.T’ machines in 2010, as the Swiss foodmaker began applying the Nespresso business model to other products, such as baby formula. Special.T’s website is advertising rebates of as much as €30 on its machines in France, lowering its price range to between €79 and €109.

The Lipton brand hasn’t yet lifted growth to the level Unilever is capable of, CEO Paul Polman, who previously was finance director at Nestlé, said on a conference call with investors in July.

Unilever’s refreshment division, which includes Lipton, reported revenue of €5.5-billion for the first half of the year. Lipton was founded in Scotland in the 1880s and was acquired by London and Rotterdam-based Unilever in 1972.

See a promo for the device here….

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