retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Interesting story on Marketplace, on National Public Radio (NPR), about how British Airways and tea company Twinings have worked together "to produce a special tea for high fliers."

What I did not know until I heard the story (probably because I never paid attention in chemistry class, which I took in 1970-71) was that water boils at a lower temperature at 35,000 feet than it does on the ground, which Twinings says is "not the optimal temperature for making tea." Because British Airways serves 35 million cups of tea a year on its planes, it wanted to do a better job.

And so, they've produced "a special high-altitude concoction," which Marketplace says, perhaps inevitably, "will take its passengers taste buds to new heights."

One the one hand, this sounds like such a little thing. But little things can add up to big things for some people.

Companies have to choose the places where they can create for themselves a differential advantage.

Sometimes, it's a new plane. Sometimes, it's a better cup of tea.

Either way, the willingness to improve the consumer experience is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: