ITO EN and Taiyo International partner to bring matcha to North America

Here is further evidence that global demand for premium Japanese green tea and matcha is stronger than ever. Green tea industry powerhouse ITO EN, well-known global suppliers of authentic, organic ceremonial green tea and matcha powder, has chosen to partner with another respected global green tea leader, Taiyo International, to supply high-quality matcha to the food, beverage and supplement industries in North America.

Based in Japan, ITO EN has been producing authentic, flavourful and highly nutritious tea for more than 50 years. The company has a longstanding tradition of honouring tea’s cultural heritage, producing great tasting, sustainable tea and matcha powder with unmatched health properties. US consumers may be most familiar with ITO EN’s brands including Tea’s Tea, Matcha Love and Oi Ocha.

Taiyo is the leader in the fast-growing field of green tea, having more than 50 years of experience focused on green tea research, nutritional product development and manufacturing technology. ITO EN’s ceremonial matcha adds to Taiyo’s existing portfolio of culinary organic matcha powder and ceremonial organic matcha powder.

“Taiyo is proud to partner with ITO EN, which rounds out our overall green tea portfolio. It is exciting to blend our B2B strengths with ITO EN’s consumer-facing expertise,” says Scott Smith, vice president of Taiyo International. Taiyo’s portfolio also includes Suntheanine, a pure form of L-theanine, and Sunphenon and Teavigo standardised green tea extracts.

“We value the history and the authenticity of Japanese green tea including matcha. We have been able to sustain those values with high quality tea products utilising our expertise in production and product development. We are very pleased to partner with Taiyo International, having expertise in the North American food and supplement markets. It will enable us to explore new product offerings to American consumers in addition to our product lineup of beverage, tea bags, and tea powder,” says Naritoshi Tomisawa, head of International Business of ITO EN, LTD. Japan.

Matcha powder is made of high-grade green tea leaves cultivated with special care. The market for this distinctively rich-flavoured ingredient with the beautiful green colour has evolved quickly. Consumers have become more familiar with matcha thanks in part to its use by high-end coffee retailers as well as elite specialty brands.

“Consumers are becoming much more sophisticated in their appreciation of the true taste, colour and aroma of matcha,” confirms Smith. “The timing of this partnership between Taiyo and ITO EN is ideal due to the growing demand for the flavour of authentic organic matcha as well as its health benefits.” Matcha powder is also a wholesome nutritious ingredient. When treated with care, Matcha is a rich source of polyphenols, vitamins, minerals, fibers, chlorophyll and L-theanine.

“As the market becomes better educated about high quality matcha, it is important that formulators have trusted suppliers who can deliver a premium ingredient and can provide valuable advice on how to position it. This is where Taiyo excels,” says Smith. “There is such a rich history associated with matcha, in addition to its tremendous health benefits. Understanding and educating people about this history is essential to bringing high-end products to store shelves.”

Authentic, organic ceremonial Japanese matcha is also suitable for beverages, dairy products, protein powder, baked goods and supplements.

All Taiyo green tea and matcha powder ingredients, including those sourced from ITO EN, are produced using time-honored water infusion and milling processes, and are in compliance with strict solvent and pesticide regulations. Stringent quality control standards are in place from farm to market. Both grades of matcha ingredients are certified organic, Kosher, NGPV, FSSC 22000 certified and Informed Ingredient certified.

“Our strict adherence to using only high-quality starting materials and safe processing standards is our guarantee that end-consumers will consistently have the benefit of nutritious, authentic products,” explains Smith.

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