Lipton logo 2015
Lipton logo 2015
Name: "Lipton"

Category: Drink

Subcategory: Stimulating drinks

Inventor: Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton

Producer: Thomas J. Lipton Company

Production start: 1890 - From Sri Lanka (Ceylon)

First price: Tea was selling for 50 cents per pound in 1890, which Lipton believed was too high a price for the working-class family. He believed that he could grow and sell tea himself for about 30 cents and still make a hefty profit simply by cutting out the middleman. By doing so, he would open the tea market up to a much broader spectrum of the population. Lipton also devised a clever marketing scheme to sell the tea. At the time, tea was sold out of large chests and weighed out for the customers. Buyers often had no way of knowing if the tea was fresh, or if the seller was giving them the proper amount. Lipton decided to sell tea in packets by the pound, half pound, and quarter pound. Besides being fresher, the tea would be easier to handle and more marketable in colorful, neat packaging.

Interesting facts: In 1871 Thomas Lipton opened his first provision shop - Lipton's Market - at 101 Stobcross Street in the Anderston area of Glasgow. This enterprise proved to be successful and Lipton soon established a chain of groceries, first across Glasgow, the rest of Scotland, until finally he had stores throughout Britain. While Lipton was expanding his empire, tea prices were falling and demand was growing among his middle class customers. In 1880, Lipton invested in the young stockyards of Omaha, Nebraska, founding a large packing plant in South Omaha which he sold to American interests in 1887. In 1888, when his empire had grown to 300 stores, he entered the tea trade and opened his tea-tasting office. In order to provide his shops with goods Lipton, in 1890 Lipton visited Sri Lanka and made business deals with James Taylor, who introduced tea gardens to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) with Tamil workers from India. Lipton's company purchased Ceylon tea, distributing it through Europe and the USA beginning in 1890.

Slogan (1890): «Direct from the tea garden to the teapot»

Property: Unilever

Official website:

Lipton's Market 1871
Lipton's Market, the first Lipton shop (1871) at 101 Stobcross Street, Glasgow

Lipton's voucher 1877
Lipton's promotional voucher (1877)

Lipton Tea in Mumbai
Lipton Tea crates moved on elephants out of the Mumbai factory (1890s)

Lipton Tea Ad 1892
Lipton Tea advertisement (Mar. 26, 1892) on the British weekly illustrated newspaper "The Graphic"

Lipton Tea Advertising 1892
Lipton Tea Advertising 1896
Lipton Tea advertisements (top: Dec. 10, 1892 - bottom: Feb. 29, 1896) on the British weekly magazine "The Illustrated London News"

Lipton Tea Ad 1931
Lipton Tea advertisement (1931)

Early Lipton Tea productions
Early Lipton Tea cans
Lipton Tea, some early productions

Thomas Lipton
Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton (Glasgow, May 10, 1848 - London, Oct. 2, 1931), entrepreneur, inventor of the Lipton Tea brand, also became well known worldwide as a yachtsman.

Lipton Tea 2014
Lipton Tea 125th anniversary
Lipton launches the "Be More Tea" campaign with commercials starring the Muppets as a promotional tie-in with the movie "Muppets Most Wanted" (2014) and celebrates 125th anniversary (2015).